Right Side News
September 18, 2012
House Judiciary Chairman Lamar Smith (R-TX) announced Friday he plans on introducing legislation this week that would eliminate the visa lottery green card program and reallocate its 55,000 annual visa allotment to foreign graduates of U.S. universities with PhDs and Master’s degrees in STEM fields (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics). (See Judiciary Committee Press Release, Sept. 14, 2012; see also The Hill, Sept. 16, 2012.
The legislation would eliminate the visa lottery and reallocate those green cards to two new employment-based visa categories, the EB-6 and EB-7. (See Judiciary Committee Summary of Bill; see also Judiciary Committee Draft Legislation) The EB-6 category is intended for foreign students holding a PhD in a STEM field from a U.S. university who agrees to work for at least five-years in the aggregate for the petitioning employer or in the U.S. in a STEM field. (See Draft Legislation at §2) Similarly, the EB-7 category is intended for foreign students holding both a Master’s and baccalaureate degree in a STEM field from a U.S. university who agree to work for at least five-years in the aggregate for the petitioning employer or in the U.S. in a STEM field. (Id.) Those with Master’s degrees will be granted a green card only after all qualifying PhD petitions have been granted.