US bill proposes green cards for overseas tech students
June 4, 2012
A bill has been tabled in the US that aims to help the country win the global competition for the top science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (Stem) students from its universities. If passed, it would allocate 55,000 new immigrant visas per year for eligible students.
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Introduced by Senator Jeff Cornyn, the Securing the Talent America Requires for the 21st Century Act comes after calls from the technology industry to liberalise laws for Stem graduates and allow talent to remain in the US. Around half of all Master’s and PhD degree recipients from US universities in the Stem fields are international students. Senator Cornyn said, “In the global competition for the world’s best and brightest minds in math and science, the United States should take a backseat to no one.”
Lynn Shotwell, Executive Director of the American Council on International Personnel, welcomed the act. “America’s world-class universities are educating and graduating foreign-born, advanced Stem degree holders who are eager to innovate and stimulate US jobs growth for American companies. The American economy needs these highly sought after graduates, and we can’t afford to let our US immigration system fall behind in the global race for talent by losing these graduates to foreign competitors,” said Shotwell.
It is proposed that the bill would replace the current green card lottery system that provides visas for under-represented countries. The bill is due to be considered later this year.