Biden’s new immigration policies are meant to strengthen the American workforce through improved programs for high-skilled immigration.
Former President Donald Trump used to insist on the fact that he favored only ‘merit-based immigration’, but under his mandate, immigration offices halted even the processing of high-skilled immigration applications. New immigration policies introduced by the Biden administration aim to offer new opportunities to highly qualified immigrants while building up the workforce with skilled immigrant talent.
As many analists have stated in the last few years, the country would benefit enormously from a greater influx of highly competent immigrants looking to settle and work in the United States. This means expanding a crippled economy and modernizing the foundations of the American Dream.
Allowing more high-skilled immigration is a matter of national interest
One of the central points of the new immigration policies implemented by Biden is the reform of the National Interest Immigration waivers for employment-based immigrants. This United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) policy update clarifies that the National Interest Waiver may be extended to qualified workers with advanced degrees in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM).
It also reinforces the importance of letters of recommendation by government entities when it comes to extending this type of Immigration Pardon. In addition, the new guidelines will make it possible to extend the range of applications of the National Interest waiver to entrepreneurs and, potentially, to a greater variety of qualified workers in different fields.
Also, according to the government, this update will help make employment-based immigration more straightforward for both immigrants and USCIS agents in charge of the processing, helping decompress an already overloaded immigration system.
How does the expanded eligibility for professionals in STEM fields work?
Areas like Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics figure prominently in the measures announced by President Biden on January 21. Among those measures, an expansion in eligibility for the STEM OPT program was announced.
This is an Optional Practical Training program to which international students can apply to gain professional experience for a total of 36 months in one of the STEM fields. This measure greatly benefits students who decide to complete their studies in the United States and who, thanks to the OPT program, can potentially apply to obtain H-1B status and obtain permanent residence through employment.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced that the STEM OPT program will also add 22 new fields to its list of eligible disciplines to apply, including some new and highly demanded fields like Anthrozoology, Climate Science, Mathematical Economics, Business Analysis, and Data Visualization.
How will these new measures benefit immigrants?
Although both the DHS and USCIS are still in need of improving their processing capabilities at the time, this reform helps facilitate immigration procedures for highly needed workers and specialists.
However, the pending immigration reform is still facing obstacles in Congress, and some needed changes won’t be happening anytime soon. Among other problems, H-1B visas are still awaiting an update to their allowed number of allowances, which greatly limit the number of skilled workers entering the United States.
And the inherited restrictive policies from the Trump administration still harm the immigration system in more ways than one. USCIS was only able this year to let go of some of these restrictive policies.
As many members of the current administration and global business analysts have stated repeatedly in recent times, the United States is losing ground to other countries in terms of immigration of entrepreneurs and skilled workers, and the administration must seize this opportunity to establish flexible migration policies before losing their advantage in Congress.
If you are in need of immigration legal advice, do not hesitate to contact us! At the Law Office of Shelle-Ann Simon we have wide experience in immigration proceedings, family law, and personal injury and have successfully defended our clients for over 10 years. Contact us through our website or give us a call at 281-606-0800!
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