The new House Oversight Committee Chair, Rep. Darryl Issa (R-CA), has introduced bill H.R. 43 on January 5, 2011 that proposes to replace the Green Card or DV Lottery with a new Employment-Based Green Card category. In the past, opponents of the lottery system just wanted to eliminate the program and the 55,000 visas it provided. This bill, on the other hand, shifts the 55,000 visas to a new green card category, increasing the opportunities of educated and qualified, foreign born employees to come to the United States and relieving some of the pressure on an already back-logged Employment-Based Green Card process.
What would the bill do if it were enacted? It would:
1) eliminate the Green Card or DV Lottery Immigrant Program and the 55,000 visas it provided;
2) re-allocate those visas to a new Employment-Based immigrant visa category.
Who would be eligible for such a visa?
These 55,000 new visas would be available to foreign-born graduate students who obtained a science or medical degree from a U.S. university and whose services are sought by an employer in the United States.
Based on a 2006 report from the National Science Foundation, 40% of all doctorate degree holders in science and engineering occupations in the U.S. were foreign-born. Nearly half of all science and engineering graduate students, seeking an advanced degree in the U.S., are also foreign-born. If enacted, this legislation would enable up to 55,000 of these students to stay in this country after earning their degree, obtain a green card and contribute to our economy. And that is a step in the right direction.