STEM Visa Bill Update

December 4, 2012

Last Friday, the House passed the STEM Jobs Act (H.R. 6429), which was introduced by Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas) on September 18, 2012. If enacted, this bill would (by eliminating the diversity visa program) create 55,000 permanent visas for foreign-born students graduating from an American university with an advanced degree in a science, technology, engineering or mathematics (STEM) field. After initially being brought up under suspension of the rules and failing to receive the request two-thirds majority vote, the bill passed by a margin 245 – 139. By increasing the amount of permanent visas available for foreign-born STEM grads, this bill will help small business across the country attract and retain the workers they need to expand their businesses and maintain long-term economic growth.

NSBA is urging Senators to take up this measure during the lame duck and pass it, so that small businesses can begin to hire the workers they need to expand their firms.