US Creates ‘Keep STEM Talent Act of 2023’ after Canada’s H1B work permit fills up in 2 Days

US creates 'Keep STEM talent bill' to provide pathway to green card for Masters or higher education degree holders from US universities. PERM, US job offer needed.

Written by Anil Gupta
  Anil Gupta    Updated 21 Jul, 23

Senator Durbin re-drafted the ‘Keep STEM Talent Act of 2023‘ bill immediately after Canada’s #H1 B-based open work permit saw an unprecedented demand.

It is to be noted that this same bill was introduced in 2022 but did not move forward. As per immigrants’ popular opinion, immigration bills are always deadlocked in US Congress between Democrats and Republicans.

They have not seen any meaningful reform for the last 30+ years. That’s probably the reason Canada’s H1 B-based open work permit was received with so much enthusiasm.

Canada expected to fill up 10k spots in 1 year but filled up the quota in less than 48 hours.

Keep STEM Talent Bill of 2023

The bill aims to keep STEM graduates from US-based universities away from the dreaded yearly green card quota limits. This means that anyone who qualifies will be able to get a green card without any yearly GC quota limits.

As per this bill, one can get the US green card if they have:

  1. STEM Degree from US-based University
    • Physically present in the US to complete this education.
    • Advance Degree (Masters or Higher level).
  2. Job offer from a US employer
    • Job is directly related to STEM degree
    • The pay rate is higher than the median wage level in the local area of work location.
    • Have the approved labor certification (generally known as PERM)
  3. STEM Degree is in one of the fields of study
    • Computer and information sciences and support services
    • Engineering
    • Mathematics and statistics
    • Biological and biomedical sciences
    • physical sciences
    • agriculture sciences
    • Natural Resources and Conservation Sciences

It is not clear if the bill will also remove the most problematic and discriminatory ‘Country of birth’ based green card numbers.

What are the chances of this Act becoming a law?

As per the past trend and the way this act has been written, the chances of passing both the House and Senate to become law are extremely low.

The same Act was introduced in 2022 as well but nothing happened. It serves more as news than any substantial effect on the lives of skilled immigrants.

As per our analysis, this has a 0.5% chance of becoming law even though the act does have logical provisions.
It will most probably die in the middle of the two party’s election campaign.

People living and working in the US on an H1B visa; holding an approved i140 for US green card, but staring at the multiple decades-long wait are tired and desperate to get rid of mental stress.

Business Community Opinion

Several business owners have voiced their opinion on the need to fix the US immigration law over time.

Kevin O’Leary called Canada’s open work permit offer a carefully planned chess move in the interview with CNBC.

When talent moves, jobs follow them. New businesses need new ideas and new talent to thrive but the US is pushing the talent away with its extremely restrictive legal employment-based immigration.

Elon Musk also praised the Canadian H1B open work permit and called it a ‘smart move’.


Written by Anil Gupta
  Anil Gupta  
Mentor | Immigration and Finance Journalism | Humor | Opinions are my own