San Francisco– Microsoft-backed OpenAI CEO Sam Altman on Monday asked the US government to reform high-skill immigration so that they can come and join innovation at scale.

Altman, who visited India last month and encouraged the AI startup ecosystem, said that this policy change will be a “hard-won gift” for the country.

“One of the easiest policy wins I can imagine for the US is to reform high-skill immigration,” said Altman.

“The fact that many of the most talented people in the world want to be here is a hard-won gift; embracing them is the key to keeping it that way. Hard to get this back if we lose it,” he emphasised in a Twitter post.

Several users, including Indian entrepreneurs, reacted to his post.

“Immigrants not only built the first microchips in Silicon Valley, but they built the tech titans they are known as today. After all, more than 50 of billion-dollar startups are founded by immigrants, and many of those startups were founded by immigrants on H-1B visas,” said Amit Misra, Founder and CEO of Dazeinfo.

Gagan Sandhu, Co-founder and CEO of Xillion app said that Universities, VCs, accelerators, tech companies and the entire tech ecosystem “can come together and forge public-private partnership with the federal government to bring real change.”

Last month, just days before Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s state visit to the US, the Joe Biden administration eased green card eligibility norms for those planning to stay in the YS.

The State Department announced that a small number of Indians and other foreign workers on H-1B visas will now be able to renew those visas in the US, without having to travel abroad.

Every year, the US government issues 65,000 H-1B visas to corporations and Indians garner a major chunk of H-1B visa approvals every year.

Prafull Billore, a venture investor, wrote to Altman that for Indians who go to the US and excel (recent example being Ajay Banga at World Bank) at their jobs, “it is of utmost importance that the US continues to provide cushioning for talented immigrants and a supportive ecosystem”. (IANS)