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Congress Considers Startup Act 2.0 For Science and Engineering Grads

Immigrants who have obtained advanced college degrees may find it easier to stay in the United States thanks to new legislation being considered in Congress.

The Startup Act 2.0 targets graduates in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math, otherwise known by the acronym STEM. The goal of the Startup Act 2.0 is to help these graduates to obtain permission to work in the U.S. and not head back to their home countries once their visas expire.

There’s a reason behind this push. Research has shown that within six years, U.S. businesses will face a shortage of native-born STEM-trained graduates. The United States is expected to have a shortfall of around 230,000 qualified advanced degree holders in the coveted STEM fields by 2018.

Minnesota is one of the parts of the country that stands to be impacted by a lack of graduates in the science, technology, engineering and math fields. The Startup Act 2.0, then, could have a significant impact on businesses throughout the state.

And Minnesota is far from alone in seeking STEM students. Many states are in need of technology, engineering and science graduates.

To be sure, the arts and humanities are important as well. After all, a vibrant economy requires not only stems, but also roots and flowers.

The prospects for the passage of the Startup Act 2.0 look strong. The proposal enjoys bipartisan support in both the U.S. House and Senate. As anyone who follows politics knows, this is a rarity today. Such bipartisan efforts are especially rare when it comes to immigration issues. The country is sharply divided on most matters related to immigration.

Source: “Explaining the Startup Act 2.0,” Southern California Public Radio, 6-5-12

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