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Senate Bills Propose Expanding Visas for Graduate Students

Bridge Team Member

Two new bills have been introduced in the Senate to reduce the "brain drain" of foreign graduate students being forced to leave the US because they cannot obtain visas for employment-based green cards.

One would create a new type of one-year visa to allow more time to find a US job and therefore expand the number of total visas available. The other would replace an existing visa program that admits applicants from select countries randomly, and distribute those visas only to STEM graduates with existing job offers. Two very different approaches (expanding the pie vs. redistributing slices), but with the same goal in mind.

But what does this mean for me today?

This legislation is still in very early stages (to keep with the pie analogy, we would still be in the gathering ingredients phase). To become law, a bill would need to pass in both the Senate and the US House of Representatives, then be signed by the president. That may be a long way off, especially since little will be passed before, or soon after, the presidential election in November. But these proposals, one from a Democrat and one from a Republican, show that this remains an important issue and lawmakers are seeking solutions to expand visas for STEM graduates.

If you have an immigration issue today, see our directory of the Best Immigration Lawyers in Boston to receive expert advice. Or, if you have a question, call 1-855-539-7768 to receive personal advice from our team.

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