US May Extend International STEM Graduates' Employment Visa Duration


Sristy Sharma
Updated on Feb 08, 2022 05:50 PM IST

US House of Representatives is expected to vote this week on a bill which can reform the international education sector with lot of positive reforms. One of them is increase in duration on employment visas of international STEM graduates allowing easier green card approval process for them. 

US May Extend International STEM Graduates' Employment Visa Duration

The US House of Representatives is expected to approve a bill which will exempt STEM graduates with employment visa caps. However, they might be required to pay additional fees to fund scholarships for low-income US STEM students.

The bill is expected to be voted on this week. If enacted, the America COMPETES Acts of 2022 would have certain provisions addressed for the international education sector.

One of the provisions includes extending limits on international STEM students to gain green cards, funding alternatives to Confucius Institutes at US universities, and a new visa category for entrepreneurs. Supplementary fee might increase the overall education cost by USD 1,000.

Also Read:US adds 22 new subjects to STEM OPT

The bill would also address the issue of authenticity to this reform so that malign foreign talent cannot apply for retreat within the country. In this regard, all the US research and development award-guarantees may have to disclose contracts or foreign grants of USD 100,000 or more (upto USD 250,000) annually to the government over three years.

Jill Allen Murray, NAFSA Deputy Executive Director of Public Policy, stated the changes as one with a positive outlook, especially for international education. She furthered that the US requires and immigration reform as the Build Black Better bill was stalled. This bills enactment can serve the needful.

She also added that the act shall have to be reconciled with the US Innovation and Competition Act passed by the Senate last yearasthe two differ significantly and might cause contradictions. Moreover, as neither has provision to expand dual intent for F-1 international students, a key policy for recruiting and retaining international students, clearly the acts shall be lacking on certain fronts.

Miriam Feldblum, Executive Director, stated the policy to be a win-win for all, international students, domestic students, educational institutions, local economies, and nations. Yet she agreed that the green card path should be extended to non-STEM graduates as well.

She proposed that the policy should prioritize PhDs, Masters, Bachelors and associate degrees of international students from US educational institutions, and the range of fields of studies must also be widened. This would help in attracting researchers, scholars, and international students to the US.

Additionally, NAFSA notes that extending the cap only for STEM graduates might lead to certain adverse effects and responses, especially when non-STEM graduates contribute similarly well to the economy.

Also Read:ASU to enrol 100 million students

Contrarily, the Presidents Alliance on Higher Education and Immigration viewed the provisions as welcoming to international students. The organization advocated the period of Biden to have shown various reforms and welcoming policies for international students and deterring the threatening policies and proposals of Trumps time in office.

Brain Whalen, Recruitment Council, suggested that the approach towards international education must change to become more integrated and supportive for international students rather than just a revenue generator.

His opinion regarding policy was that it will help in retaining US trained talent and skills to be applied effectively within the countrys economy. The commitment to recruit innovation and STEM fields talent within the economy is clearly visible in the policy and funding shall help in building the performance and effectiveness of Community Colleges.

He addressed the shortcoming of the bill in the form of non-addressal to entry issues of the international students and the transition points have also not been effectively discussed. Entry points such as K-12 schools, high schools, community colleges, graduate andundergraduate institutions, vocational and business training, intensive English and language programmes, short-term study abroad programmes, volunteering, work and cultural programmes have been ignored which leaves a wide range of topics in the international education sector unattended.

To this, he also added that the lack of consideration of transitioning of international students among the educational avenues shall be deterring, especially as they are overwhelmingly underdeveloped.

Also Read:H-1B Visa Registrations for FY 2023 to Begin from March 1

The Biden-Harris administration is focused on growth of the US economy, creation of jobs, and strengthening national security. With the provision in the limelight the administration seeks international STEM students and researchers in the country,and widening the fields of study.

National Interest Exception qualifications, streamlining visa processes, and prioritising students for visa interviews are some of the steps undertaken by Biden's office.

Source: The PIE News

Study STEM Courses In Top Universities Of The US!

You can share this post!

Admission Open 2024

Related Articles

Aug 18, 2023 04:28 PM IST

How to Apply for Masters in USA?

Aug 03, 2023 01:18 PM IST

Documents Required for TOEFL

Our Study Abroad Offerings

Related Institutes

Planning to study abroad?

Interested in Studying Overseas?

Connect with us and kickstart your learning journey for a rewarding experience!

By proceeding ahead you expressly agree to the CollegeDekhoAbroad Terms of Use & Privacy Policy.