Obtaining Green Card for STEM Grads May Get Easier

Following the announcement of the U.S. immigration reform proposal spearheaded by a bipartisan group of senators, key principles are gaining traction as possible major contributions to the United States’ economy. Rewarding foreign students with a green card upon graduating from U.S. universities, which was cleared by the House of Representatives last year, is also being backed by the Senate.

This law would be particularly beneficial to India-natives who come to the United States in large numbers to study science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). Current laws enable these individuals to pursue an education in the States, but they are often forced to leave after graduation because they are not able to promptly obtain green cards.

The new legislation would enable an immigrant who received a PhD or Master’s degree in a STEM field to be rewarded with a green card so that highly-skilled individuals are able to contribute to the U.S. economy following graduation.

“It (immigration) keeps our workforce young, it keeps our country on the cutting edge, and it has helped build the greatest economic engine the world has ever known,” President Barack Obama said in a speech in Las Vegas. “After all, immigrants helped start businesses like Google and Yahoo. They created entire new industries that in turn created new jobs and new prosperity for our citizens.”

The proposed reform would authorize the employment of a H-1B visa holder’s spouse, which has been a looming concern. It would also allow the recapture of green cards that were approved by Congress but not used.

If more highly-skilled workers are attracted to the United States, it will likely create more jobs for the unemployed or underpaid workforce. The president also proposed a start-up visa for entrepreneurs who are interested in starting or growing their business in the U.S.