03.1 Visa Rules and Government Procedures Hampering U.S. Science and Technology

National security and economic vitality critically depend on science and technology and strongly profit from contributions of foreign-born scientists and engineers. The American Physical Society calls on the United States Administration and Congress to maintain and implement appropriate and effective visa rules and government procedures that sustain science and technology. They must promote continuing international scientific and technological cooperation and ensure the flow of people and knowledge needed to guarantee economic strength and national security. The rules and procedures must also protect the nation against terrorism and espionage.


National security has many aspects that must be balanced in a modern and diverse society, one of which is maintaining leadership in science and technology.

Science is international: foreign-born scientists play a critical role in the nation's economic vitality, national security and quality of life. Some procedures and rules implemented to secure the nation's borders have resulted in long delays and denials of U.S. visas for many foreign scientists and students. These procedures impede global industrial and academic partnerships. U.S. national laboratories, even those not engaged in classified projects, now have rules that discriminate against scientists and engineers from certain countries. As a result, our partners are increasingly reluctant to participate in joint ventures. This isolation threatens irreparable damage to U.S. economic competitiveness and, ultimately, national security.

Revision Approved by the Council on November 9, 2018 
Adopted by the Council on June 6, 2003
Category: National Policy

APS Statements

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