Immigration Bill to grant 55,000 Green Cards for STEM Masters and Doctorates

In its first pro-immigration stance post-election, the Republicans hit home by proposing the first Immigration Bill scheduled for vote later this week by the House, which will grant green cards to foreigners who hold doctorates in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) at U. S. Universities and also make it easier for the green card holders to bring their immediate families to the U. S.  According to the bill, 55,000 Green Cards will be available for people in science, technology, engineering and math fields, which would be compensated by eliminating those visas offered through random chance in Diversity Visa Lottery.

The whole point of providing the immigrant visas through the new bill is to ensure that the skilled foreign graduates from U. S. universities get the opportunity to work and don’t have to move back to their native country, thereby adding in the effort to keep America the world’s economic leader. Even as both Republicans and Democrats maintain that a more comprehensible approach to tackle the immigration-related problem is necessary and there should be easy way to keep skilled immigrants with advanced degrees in the U.S., many activists related to immigrant-rights do not appreciate the approach of eliminating one program at the cost of another; in this case the new bill against the Diversity Visa Lottery.

Due to the same reason, a similar bill proposed in September failed to clear the House under a procedure that required 2/3rd of votes and also the reason that such a bill would only mean visas for high-tech graduates by discarding another visa programs where less-educated are benefited. This time however the votes would be cast under normal procedures that will require only majority of votes. The opinion at large is that the Legal Immigration system should be increased overall to include all those desirable immigrants, and eliminating Diversity Visa Lottery would only close the route for those who are less-educated foreigners.

Therefore, the Republicans came up with an expansion of provision with this new bill; it will allow spouses and minor children of green card holders or people having permanent residence to be granted green card too. Previously, the wait for the family-based green cards was as long as six years; but with the new bill the family members can come to the U. S. one year after applying for their green cards, except that they won’t be able to indulge in any sort of work until they get the green card.

However, there were voices saying that the proposal for the new Immigration Bill by the Republicans is just another strategy to rise from the disappointing outcome of the election, whereas the Republicans went on mentioning that the Diversity Visa Lottery poses a threat to national security. Moreover, there is another bill that has been in making by Sen. Charles E. Schumer, New York Democrat.

Though it would apply to holders of master’s and doctoral degrees, a job offer from a U.S. company is mandatory, provided the company certifies that it is not trying to undercut wages by hiring a potential immigrant. This bill is meant to preserve the diversity lottery and treat the high-tech green cards as just an addition to the system. Nonetheless, though President Obama supports Mitt Romney’s idea of expanding high-tech green cards, the outcome of his bill is yet to be seen.


Reddy & Neumann, P.C. is a boutique business immigration law firm based in Houston, Texas. For over 15 years, our firm has successfully represented corporate clients across the nation in their efforts to bring foreign workers and business professionals to the United States. The attorneys of Reddy & Neumann, P.C. are highly experienced in guiding employers and employees through the PERM Labor Certification process by advising clients on the PERM advertising requirements, Prevailing Wage issues, and priority date establishment. From filing the PERM Form 9089 through certification, and onto the I-140 petition and adjustment process we do everything possible to ensure that your company can bring the best and brightest in the world to the United States.