Immigration Reform ?

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Don't get excited yet as there are many, many, many. ... steps legislatively and otherwise ahead for comprehensive immigration reform, but as part of the Senate's (and President's) initiatives in this area the "Immigration Innovation Act of 2013" (nicked named the "I-Squared Act of 2013") addressing reforms to employment based immigration has just been put forward. I have not had a chance to read the text of the bill nor all the analysis (as I am closing out one project and starting work on another), but from the highlights I have seen there are some important changes such as visa recapture, U.S. advanced STEM degree holders exempt from quotas, dependents exempt from quotas, dual immigration intent for F-1 student visas, and elimination of per country quotas (which would be far less contentious given the aforementioned points).

I encourage everyone to read the text of the bill and reputable legal analysis (do not go by what people post on Internet forums).

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  • 3 weeks later...

First, it is (way) too early to tell if any specific degrees (such as biological sciences or biomedical sciences) would not be included in the STEM categories.

Second, I (strongly) suspect that the USCIS list of "STEM Designated Degree Programs" applicable for OPT STEM extensions would also be used for advanced STEM degree based permanent residency (green card) in any applicable immigration legislation. This list specifically includes "Biology/Biological Sciences, General" and "Biomedical Sciences, General" along with many other discipline specific biological degrees.

Respectfully, tell your co-worker and whoever else that they should refrain from such speculation about possible immigration reform legislation, and wait until there is a actual bill in Congress. Spreading rumors ('OMG, the sky is falling') does not help anyone, and is in fact detrimental.

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  • 5 months later...


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