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“US Introduces ‘Keep STEM Talent Act of 2023’ in Response to Canada’s Swiftly Filled H1B Work Permit Program”

July 21, 2023








In response to the overwhelming demand for Canada’s #H1 B-based open work permit, Senator Durbin has redrafted the ‘Keep STEM Talent Act of 2023’ bill, aiming to provide a pathway to green cards for Masters or higher education degree holders from US universities. This bill aims to address the yearly green card quota limits and retain STEM graduates in the United States.

Previously introduced in 2022 without making significant progress, the bill is met with skepticism due to the historical deadlock between Democrats and Republicans on immigration reform. Over the past 30+ years, meaningful reform has been elusive, leading to growing enthusiasm for Canada’s open work permit program, which unexpectedly filled its 10,000 spots within 48 hours.

The ‘Keep STEM Talent Bill of 2023’ outlines the eligibility criteria for obtaining a green card, requiring candidates to possess a STEM degree from a US-based university, with an advanced degree at the Masters or Higher level. Additionally, a job offer from a US employer directly related to their STEM degree and paying above the median wage level in the local area of work location is necessary. Approval of the labor certification, commonly known as PERM, is also a prerequisite.

The bill primarily targets graduates in fields such as computer and information sciences, engineering, mathematics and statistics, biological and biomedical sciences, physical sciences, agriculture sciences, and natural resources and conservation sciences.

However, it remains uncertain whether the bill will address the long-standing issue of ‘Country of birth’ based green card numbers, which have been a concern for many skilled immigrants.

Despite its logical provisions, the chances of the Keep STEM Talent Act becoming law are considered to be extremely low, following the pattern of previous attempts. Experts predict a mere 0.5% likelihood of passing both the House and Senate, as it faces potential stagnation amidst the two parties’ election campaigns.

For those on H1B visas and holding approved i140s for US green cards, the prolonged waiting period has caused significant stress and frustration. Business owners and industry leaders have emphasized the urgent need to fix the US immigration law to retain and attract talented individuals. Notably, figures like Kevin O’Leary and Elon Musk have praised Canada’s open work permit program, highlighting the importance of nurturing talent to stimulate economic growth.

The fate of the ‘Keep STEM Talent Bill of 2023’ remains uncertain, and it is hoped that further deliberations and bipartisan efforts can bring about meaningful immigration reforms to benefit skilled immigrants and the US economy alike.

Source: am22tech


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