Senate Bills Aim to Help Graduates in STEM Fields Get Green Cards

Reg Blog
July 5, 2012

Two recently introduced bills in the United States Senate are designed to slow the “brain drain” of foreign-born scientists and engineers who return to their native countries after receiving graduate training in the US.

Senators Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Chris Coons (D-DE) introduced the Sustaining our Most Advanced Researchers and Technology (SMART) Jobs Act with the hope of retaining more US-trained foreigners. The Act proposes a new kind of visa for STEM students in graduate programs. The visa would remain valid for one year after graduation to allow the student to find employment. Once employed full-time in a STEM field, holders of the visa would become eligible to apply for green cards. These would not count towards the current annual limit of 140,000 employment-based green cards.

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