U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet Unveils STEM Visa Act To Help Promote High-Skilled Domestic Labor
Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet has recently introduced a bill called the STEM Visa Act to reform the U.S visa system to drive economic growth, inspire entrepreneurship and especially make it easier for students with advanced degrees to stay and work in the United States.
According to the Senator, immigrant students who graduate U.S. universities or colleges in a science, technology engineering or mathematics (STEM) program would be eligible for U.S. temporary student visas, which would further help fill the increasing number of high-tech jobs in the States as well as in Colorado.
"We are facing a shortage of workers in high-tech jobs, and more and more of our STEM degrees go to foreign students who leave the United States to work," said Bennet. "It only makes sense to keep international talent in our economy and encourage American students to enter STEM fields. This plan addresses these problems through a comprehensive approach with an eye toward long-term workforce development, economic growth and job creation."
Currently, statistics show that there are 140,000 U.S. green cards a year granted to skilled workers and roughly 210,000 EB-3 visas for highly skilled workers are backlogged for Indians alone. As a result, Ralph Christie - chair and CEO of Merrick & Company in Aurora - expressed his agreement with the new bill: "Senator Bennet's proposal of a pathway to more visas can be one approach to providing additional engineering and scientific human resource talent in a time when it is needed for our country".
Bennet introduced this bill to help strengthen our economy and make long-term investments in the workforce. He showed his effort to respond to the brain drain caused by a broken immigration system. Specifically, the STEM Visa Act would:
- Create a new green card category for foreign students graduating American colleges and universities with advanced degrees in STEM.
- Establish a new fund through U.S. visa fees that will improve STEM education for American students.
- Permit eligible undocumented students enrolled full time in a STEM field of a U.S. institution of higher education to apply for U.S. temporary student visas.
- Cut red tape in the administration of visas to make it less costly and timelier for employers.
- Make commonsense reforms to H1-B visa and L visas to protect American workers by preventing wages from being undercut, requiring that employers hire American workers first, and prohibiting the displacement of American workers with foreign workers.
- Simplify the EB-5 visa program for foreign investors to attract additional investment and create additional jobs for Americans.
The first and the foremost thing to be kept in mind while planning to go to the US, is the Visa. US visa is the ticket which makes a person eligible; to request admission to the US at any US Port of Entry. Without a visa, it is impossible to enter the US.