Christopher Savoie, founder and chief executive of a start-up called Zapata, offered jobs this year to three scientists who specialize in an increasingly important technology called quantum computing. They accepted.
Several months later, the Cambridge, Mass., company was still waiting for the State Department to approve visas for the specialists. All three are foreigners, born in Europe and Asia.
Whether the delays were the result of tougher immigration policy or just red tape, Mr. Savoie’s predicament was typical of a growing concern among American businesses and universities: Unless policies and priorities change, they will have trouble attracting the talent needed to build quantum technology, which could make today’s computers look like toys.