Comprehensive Immigration Reform Helps Highly Skilled Immigrants

Section 320 of the  The Comprehensive Immigration Reform for America’s Security and Prosperity Act of 2009 H.R. 4321 (CIR ASAP) is fantastic.  It exempts from numerical caps on employment based green cards those aliens who have earned a master’s or higher from an accredited university in the U.S., those who received postdoctoral and medical training in the U.S., and those who earned a master’s in science, technology, engineering, or mathematics.

Currently, the H-1B visa allows 20,000 such graduates annually to work in the U.S. temporarily.  Many of them seek green cards upon the completion of their short stint on an H-1B visa.  This section of CIR ASAP allows an alternative avenue for these highly skilled and highly paid workers to work in the U.S. after graduation and to stay after the completion of their H-1B visas.

The number of highly skilled immigrants allowed into the U.S. yearly would increase under CIR ASAP.  If this section was the entire bill, it would be one of the best bills of 2009.