House Approves Visa Bill for Foreign Graduates

House Approves Visa Bill for Foreign Graduates

December 03, 2012

The U.S. House of Representatives approved a bill on Friday that would reallocate up to 55,000 green cards to foreign graduates of American research universities who receive advanced degrees in science, technology, engineering, or mathematics, reports the Chronicle of Higher Education.

The Republican-backed measure, called the STEM Jobs Act, is unlikely to progress in the Democrat-controlled Senate. Although there is bipartisan support for visas for STEM graduates, many Democrats oppose a provision of the bill that would eliminate the existing Diversity Visa Program, which currently provides visas to people from countries with low rates of immigration to the United States. Under the legislation, those visas would be redirected to highly educated graduates. The bill would create a new category of visas specifically for foreign students who graduate from an American research university with a doctorate or master's degree in a STEM field.

The bill was also opposed by the White House and NAFSA: The Association of International Educators, which said, in a statement, that it supported the goal of providing green cards to graduates of American colleges and universities but did "not support creating a new path for international students by eliminating another immigration program."


Related Links:

The Chronicle of Higher Education

Michelle Cormier Mott