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Bill Gates slams US visa policies

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Slamming American immigration policies, Microsoft Chairperson Bill Gates has said the US was shutting the door on the best and the brightest at a time when the country needed it the most.

Gates, one of the most vocal in the industry to constantly plead for an increase in skilled worker visas, told the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labour and Pensions that the United States must also come to terms with the issue of permanent residency over and above what it intended to do with the H1B visas.

The Senate panel headed by Senator Edward Kennedy was focused on "Strengthening American Competitiveness for the 21st century" with Gates as the principal witness.

The Microsoft chairperson slammed the visa policies that has now come to heavily restrict foreign-born US college graduates from working in the US and limit citizenship or permanent residency opportunities for scientists and engineers.

"It makes no sense to tell well-trained, highly skilled individuals many of whom are educated at our top universities that they are not welcome in US.

"We have to welcome the great minds in this world, not shut them out of our country," Gates said.

"Unfortunately, America's immigration policies are driving away the world's best and brightest precisely when we need them most."

He also made the point that if the federal government did not make it easier for foreign scientists and engineers to obtain permanent US residency, the talent would flow to India and China.