US Increases Terms for Sensitive Tech Access
WASHINGTON, DC - 12/13/03 - The US Department of Commerce has agreed to lengthen the term of licenses giving access to sensitive technology to highly skilled foreigners taking temporary jobs in the US.
At issue are regulations for what are called "deemed exports" - the release of restricted technology or software to a foreign national in the US.
A deemed export license is granted typically for two years while the H-1B visa for foreign tech workers is granted typically for three years.
The BIS said future deemed export license terms will be tied to the term of visas.
The applicant should note the visa expiration date in the application, the bureau said.
The BIS made other changes in deemed export licensing.
First, the bureau said it will grant an automatic six-month extension of an existing license if the request is received at least 45 days before the license expires.
Second, it will expedite processing of applications that pertain solely to increasing the level of technology access under an existing license, the BIS said.
The bureau said that about 30% of all the deemed export licenses it processes concern renewals or technology upgrades.
"The frequency of license renewals has significantly increased primarily because of the greater scrutiny and time required for individuals to obtain permanent residency status or citizenship, which often exceeds the standard two-year validity period of an export license," the agency said.
"These delays, combined with the rapid pace of technological advances, also have required exporters to seek upgrades in the technology licensed to enable them to continue to employ the foreign nationals for current products."
Many applications for deemed export licenses are made by US companies giving temporary employment to high-tech workers from India, China, Russia, Iran, and Israel.
Technology companies have long complained that the deemed export licensing scheme adds delay and expense to their work while preventing them from retaining the best people.
BIS said that deemed export licenses do not apply to foreign nationals employed by a subsidiary of a US company in a foreign country. They do apply, however, when a foreign company that imports restricted US technology under license seeks to give access to that technology to a foreign national of a third country, it said.
The Department's Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) announced the move on its web site - www.bxa.doc.gov.
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