Q & A - Immigration Reform for Professionals with Advanced Degrees?
Q: Dear Immigration Counselors,
I have read about the STEM Act legislation which would allow certain professionals to apply for permanent residency. Will a qualified person be able to adjust status in the United States based upon this if he holds a master’s degree in science, technology, engineering or mathematics?
A: Dear R.B., The "STEM Jobs Act" is a bill which passed the U.S. House of Representatives in late 2012, but has not been approved by the Senate or signed into law. The bill seeks to grant as many as 55,000 visas to foreign nationals with advanced degrees from U.S. universities in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). The goal is to prevent the “brain drain” to competing countries and instead, to retain the professionals we train in our country.
If this bill were to become law, then this could be a boon to the U.S. economy since such professionals use innovation and start businesses. We have not seen from the bill however that it provides for adjustment of status for those who are currently out of status. Moreover, this legislation does not provide any comprehensive immigration reform. For news about the plans for immigration reform announced by President Obama on January 29, 2013, stay tuned further to our newsletters
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