Where Participants Fit into the Early Career STEM Research Initiative

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In the preceding two blogs, we have discussed how the Biden-Harris Administration has launched a series of new federal initiatives to assist United States businesses in connecting with talented researchers and other highly-skilled individuals. In this blog, we will discuss how participants, specifically nonimmigrants and other foreign national interested in STEM professions, may join the Early Career Research Initiative. For more information, please read on, then contact an immigration lawyer skilled in employment immigration today.

Who may qualifies as participants in the Early Career STEM Research Initiative?

No specific level of education or expertise is required, meaning that any foreign national whose primary purpose in coming to the United States is conducting research, observing or consulting in connection with a research project at research institutions, corporate research facilities, museums, libraries, post-secondary accredited academic institutions or similar types of institutions may participate in the Early Career STEM Research Initiative.

Remember: This program is centered around cultural exchange. Research exchange visitors may participate in work that supports a company’s mission and commercial objectives, even if it is product- or profit-related, but they may not fill vacancies in either the long- or short-term.

Nonetheless, participants do not need to receive approval from the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) or consular process before changing the site of activity to a company if they are completing a two- or three-year STEM post-doctorate as a J-1 Research Scholar and are pursuing the same or related research.

What U.S. institutions are currently open to Early Career STEM Research Initiative participants?

While a participant need not go through a self-identified sponsor to join in on this initiative, he or she may find it helpful to do so. Current BridgeUSA sponsors that have expressed interest in connecting with prospective host organizations and participants are as follows:

  • Western New England University
  • Western Michigan University
  • University of North Texas
  • Cultural Vistas
  • Arizona State University
  • Pan Atlantic Consultants
  • The University of Alabama
  • World Wide Cultural Exchange, Inc.
  • Spirit Cultural Exchange
  • Miami University
  • Rian Immigrant Center, Inc.
  • InterExchange, Inc.
  • Council on International Educational Exchange
  • Institute of International Education
  • I.C.E.F. Inc.
  • British American Business Inc. of New York and London
  • Odyssey International Exchange
  • Global Educational Concepts
  • American Immigration Council, Inc.
  • Intrax
  • University of Alabama at Birmingham
  • Grand Valley State University
  • Xavier University of Louisiana
  • State University of NY Tompkins Cortland Community College
  • University of Oregon
  • International Center for Language Studies, Inc.
  • International Exchange of North America
  • Alliance Abroad Group
  • German American Chamber of Commerce California
  • Gravity International Programs, Inc.
  • Saint Martin’s University
  • University of South Carolina
  • International Technological University
  • University of Dayton
  • Brigham Young University – Hawaii

The list of host organizations continues to grow, so we advise potential participants to check back regularly.

While the organizers behind this initiative have sought to streamline this process, participants outside the U.S. may experience backlogs at U.S. embassies. Whether or not that is the case for you, you should strongly consider consulting with a firm specializing in U.S. immigration legal services for assistance in clarifying any lingering questions or initiating the process.

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If you have any immigration-related matters, contact the Lightman Law Firm to schedule your initial consultation today.