STEM Jobs Act passed by the House

On November 30, 2012, the House of Representatives passed the immigration bill, also known as the STEM Jobs Act, which will grant 55,000 Green Cards for masters and doctorates in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields who graduated from U. S. Colleges and Universities.

Along with the Green Card provisions for immigrants in STEM fields, the bill also allows spouses and minor children of green card holders or people having permanent residence to be granted green cards too, and they can come to the U. S. one year after applying for the same, which may benefit the Latinos majorly.

This bill was sponsored by Republican Lamar Smith from Texas, and it passed by a 245(218 Rep., 27 Dem.) to 139(134 Dem., 5 Rep.) in the House. The Obama administration however maintained that it did not support the bill as it would only mean elimination of the Diversity Visa Program, and that it needs to be more comprehensive in nature to contribute to immigration reform.

Though passing of STEM Jobs Act would mean a lot to economic growth of the nation by providing easy opportunity to hire most qualified foreign graduates from U. S. universities and colleges, it would pull the chance of an individual from an underrepresented country to get a chance to obtain visa, now that the visas allocated to Diversity Visa Program will be eliminated. Close families of green card holders can rejoice as they only have to wait for one year from applying for the green card to come to the U. S.

Democrats in the House however did voice their opinion to keep the Diversity Visa Program along with the STEM Jobs Act, for just the family green card concession was not suffice. There is a possibility that only fewer visas would be issued eventually, for every year less than 55,000 foreigners with STEM credentials graduate from U. S. universities, and the remaining visas will lie unused as the bill does not allow so or even to transfer those to other programs.

Nonetheless, the efficiency of the passed bill can only be seen once it is set to motion.


Reddy & Neumann, P.C. is an immigration law firm in Houston, Texas. For over 15 years, our firm has successfully represented corporate clients across the United States in their efforts to bring foreign workers and business professionals to the United States. Our experienced team of immigration lawyers in Houston & Dallas advises clients throughout the H-1B visa application process, including responding to various requests for evidence and consular processing issues. From filing, through approval, and on to appeal, we do everything possible to ensure that your company can bring the best and brightest in the world to the United States.