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Clinton pledges green cards for STEM grads

Presidential hopeful, Hillary Clinton, has pledged to “staple” green cards to student visas for international students completing STEM courses at master’s or PhD level.

Photo: Wikicommons/Gage Skidmore.

132,888 Indian students came to study in the US in 2014-15. This was a 30% increase from the year before.

The proposal, which is part of Clinton’s initiative on technology and innovation, is expected to benefit Indian students, with a large majority coming to the US to study STEM subjects.

She has also proposed “start-up” visas to allow entrepreneurs to come to the US to start up their own companies in “technology-oriented globally traded sectors”.

“Far too often, we require talented persons from other countries who are trained in US universities to return home”

“Our immigration system is plagued by visa backlogs and other barriers that prevent high-skilled workers and entrepreneurs from coming to, staying in, and creating jobs in America,” a factsheet for the initiative states.

“Far too often, we require talented persons from other countries who are trained in US universities to return home, rather than stay in here and continue to contribute to our economy.”

The Institute of International Education’s Open Doors report last year showed that 132,888 Indian students came to study in the US in 2014-15. This was a 30% increase from the year before.

STEM graduates can currently stay and work in the US for three years, following a recent ruling which has lengthened the extension period of OPT, the country’s post-study programme for STEM students, from 17 months to 24 months.

Immigrant entrepreneurs pursuing a green card would need a commitment of financial support from investors in the US before obtaining the visa, according to Clinton’s initiative.

In addition, they “would have to create a certain number of jobs and reach performance benchmarks”.

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