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U.S. Needs More College-Educated Foreign Nationals

Written By The Shapiro Law Group on February 12, 2013

According to a recent study by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (“OECD”) roughly 25 percent of the 255 million people in the world with a bachelor’s degree currently reside in the U.S., a proportion much greater than our relative percentage of population in the world (about 5 percent).

But the U.S. is showing no growth in the share of young people attending college anymore, and studies show that an increasing proportion of the college bound in this country are dropping out before they graduate.

Meanwhile, developing countries, such as China, India and Korea, are expanding their university enrollments, and many developing countries now rank ahead of the U.S. in pre-college test scores for math and science, two fields that are cornerstones of the information age.

Congress could encourage more college-bound foreign nationals to come here for their educations and settle here to raise their own children by raising the paltry limits on the H-1B specialty occupation visa program, which currently allows for up to 65,000 entrants in “specialty occupations” (many of whom are college-educated) and 20,000 entrants who have obtained advanced degrees in this country.

The government could also consider a plan proposed by Mitt Romney and others, who have recognized the need to attract foreign nationals with post-graduate degrees in science, technology, engineering or math (so-called “STEM” students). Under such a plan, STEM students would not only be exempt from the H-1B cap, but would also be eligible for a green card, conferring permanent resident status.

The U.S. cannot continue to compete in global markets without the college-educated talent necessary to maintain our historic commercial advantages.

If you are a college-educated foreign national seeking immigration assistance, or if you have any other reason for needing the advice and counsel of a qualified immigration lawyer, do not hesitate to contact our office at (847) 564-0712 for an appointment with an experienced attorney. You can also check out our immigration law Website for more information about how we might assist you.