STEM Visa Bill Could Expand Opportunities for Selected U.S. Graduates

Attention Professionals: Do YOU have at least a Master’s Degree in a Science, Mathematics, Technology or Engineering (STEM) field from a U.S. University?

If this applies to you, there may be a new law on the horizon.  This past week, New York Senator Charles Schumer (D) introduced a new bill before the Senate calling for an additional 55,000 STEM visas.  STEM visas are for foreign-born individuals who have graduated from an American university with at least a Master’s Degree in a Science, Mathematics, Technology, or an Engineering field.

Schumer’s bill is similar to a bill that was introduced in the House by Texas Representative Lamar Smith (R).  However, Smith’s bill calls for complete elimination of the Diversity Visa Lottery, while Schumer’s does not.  Smith’s reasoning for elimination the DV Lottery is that it is often plagued by fraud and that it makes it easier for terrorists to enter the Untied States.  This bill failed to pass the house in a vote on 9/20/12.

As the 2nd Session of the 112th Congress draws to a close, it is doubtful that there will be enough time for a vote on either of these bills. The timing of these bills makes us whether they are just last minute strategic moves in view of the upcoming election.

Article categories: Immigration Policy and Legislative Initiatives

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