Green Card process easier for STEM graduates
The proposed immigration reform by the Obama administration offers great opportunities for aspiring STEM (science, technology, engineering and...
The proposed immigration reform by the Obama administration offers great opportunities for aspiring STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) specialists to be part of such wonderful inventions, permanently, in the US. But it would not completely rule out the labour certification or employment requirements. As the "Gang of eight" (bipartisan senators) is slated to submit its proposal to revamp the US immigration policy to the review of the Senate Judiciary Committee. The debate over creating a 10 to 13-year path to citizenship to millions of undocumented immigrants who reached America illegally before 2012 has reached its virtual climax. The highlight of the climax is a new twist that the Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee (Patrick Leahy, Democrat, Vermont) himself has resolved to submit a proposal to facilitate gay Americans to claim automatic green cards for their foreign-born partners (as in the case of heterosexual marriages�marriages with opposite sex�with US citizens). Though President Obama described his own party Senator's move as "the right thing to do" and echoed support to LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, bisexual and transgender) rights, he was cautious as he commented that this politically charged issue may not reach the final stage of the immigration reform. While 10 states in the US have already legalised same-sex marriages and a Gallup poll indicated that 53 per cent of Americans have been supporting gay and lesbian couples to get their right to marry, the US immigration law hasn't recognised gay or lesbian marriages of US citizens with foreign-born partners, so far, as the issue holds several critical spots for US visa issuing offices overseas as well as border security agencies at US ports of entry. Despite numerous controversies surrounding the Comprehensive Immigration Reform, both the Democrats and the Republicans haven't conflicted at least on one major issue of the proposed reform�immigrant visas to international students who pursue advanced STEM degrees in America. One among the proposals of the Obama administration would provide an easier path to visas and green cards to foreign students who opt for advanced courses in STEM fields (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) from US universities. Though the age-old presumption that foreign students could endanger the job opportunities of local Americans has still not waned in the average American mindset, politicians from both the major parties seemingly realised that the US, on its own, cannot meet the ever-increasing demand for highly skilled STEM specialists in various fields of scientific and technological advancement in America. An unwritten consensus has emerged in the US political circles, irrespective of their party affiliations, that the time is now ripe to consider drawing as much specialised talent as possible in STEM fields through immigration. For sure, the matured minds in the US politics have not been comfortable with STEM specialists leaving US universities to join America's competitors in other countries to eventually desecrate the US' investment on their education and training. If the contemplated immigration reform could overcome its pitfalls and controversies to eventually culminate into an Act, we can hope that foreign students in advanced STEM fields in US universities will get an easier path to green cards. It doesn't mean that they will get green cards automatically after completing their STEM degrees in American universities ("staple a green card to a STEM degree," a phrase as propagated earlier, was just an expression and one should not take its literal meaning). If placed in the final Act, the STEM reform would surely make the green card process easier for international students in advanced STEM fields at US universities; but it would not completely rule out the labour certification or employment requirements. The X-51A Wave Rider, an experimental unmanned aircraft of the US Air Force that was test-flown at more than five times the speed of sound in California last week; or the Solar Impulse which has been termed as the world's most-advanced solar aero plane and currently flying across various American cities for 10 consecutive days represent the superb scientific and engineering skills of STEM specialists in the US. The proposed immigration reform by the Obama administration offers great opportunities for aspiring STEM specialists from various countries to be part of such wonderful inventions, permanently, in the US. To plan more on STEM education in the United States, you may browse through the expanded list of STEM fields, as recognised and released by the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in 2012, at the following link: http://www.ice.gov/doclib/sevis/pdf/stem-list.pdf