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THE USA: Latest News

US immigration reform would help international STEM students

Read about the bill which has passed the US Senate which can benefit international education in the US, if it passes the House of Representatives next.

The possible US immigration reform would benefit students in fields like the sciences.

The US Senate has remarkably passed a new immigration bill which will open up the opportunities available to those who wish to move to the US to study, including permanent visas for those who graduate and wish to remain in and contribute to the nation.

The 68-32 majority verdict was supported by roughly a third of Republicans, though it will face a steeper battle when it goes to the House of Representatives which is heavily conservative. However a positive sign for the bill is the support of Jeb Bush – son of George W. – who has said that the bill would make it ‘easier to immigrate legally than illegally’.

If the bill passes, it will be easier for Masters and PhD students in key STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) fields to secure a green card so they can remain in the country. These fields are not only popular among incoming international students, but they produce graduates whose expertise and knowledge can positively benefit the country for years to come if permitted to stay. Meanwhile for employers, the cap on H-1B visas on which they can employ immigrant workers, has been raised by roughly 45,000 to 110,000.

This is further good news for the international education community in the US, having recently seen the highest incoming international student numbers recorded. Immigration reform has been at the top of President Barack Obama’s second term agenda.

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