President Obama's Legal Immigration Proposal

White House today released President Obama’s Comprehensive Immigration Proposal  Fact Sheet which include Legal Immigration overhaul.

Here is the extract about Legal immigration Proposal. You must read the following sections

  • Cut Red Tape for Employers
  • Staple” green cards to advanced STEM diplomas

President proposal includes giving Green Card to foreign students with job and  Masters Degree or PhD from Recognized USA Universities.

If this proposal becomes a law, there will be huge interest among foreign students who want to come to USA. This just a proposal, we have to wait and see how the language in the bill changes and what will the final law will look like.

Streamlining Legal Immigration

  • Keep Families Together. The proposal seeks to eliminate existing backlogs in the family-sponsored immigration system by recapturing unused visas and temporarily increasing annual visa numbers.  The proposal also raises existing annual country caps from 7 percent to 15 percent for the family-sponsored immigration system.   It also treats same-sex families as families by giving U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents the ability to seek a visa on the basis of a permanent relationship with a same-sex partner. The proposal also revises current unlawful presence bars and provides broader discretion to waive bars in cases of hardship.
  • Cut Red Tape for Employers.  The proposal also eliminates the backlog for employment-sponsored immigration by eliminating annual country caps and adding additional visas to the system.  Outdated legal immigration programs are reformed to meet current and future demands by exempting certain categories from annual visa limitations.
  • Enhance travel and tourism.  The Administration is committed to increasing U.S. travel and tourism by facilitating legitimate travel while maintaining our nation’s security.  Consistent with the President’s Executive Order on travel and tourism, the President’s proposal securely streamlines visa and foreign visitor processing.  It also strengthens law enforcement cooperation while maintaining the program’s robust counterterrorism and criminal information sharing initiatives.  It facilitates more efficient travel by allowing greater flexibility to designate countries for participation in the Visa Waiver Program, which allows citizens of designated countries to visit the United States without obtaining a visa.  And finally it permits the State Department to waive interview requirements for certain very low-risk visa applicants, permitting resources to be focused on higher risk applicants and creates a pilot for premium visa processing.
  • “Staple” green cards to advanced STEM diplomas.  The proposal encourages foreign graduate students educated in the United States to stay here and contribute to our economy by “stapling” a green card to the diplomas of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) PhD and Master’s Degree graduates from qualified U.S. universities who have found employment in the United States.  It also requires employers to pay a fee that will support education and training to grow the next generation of American workers in STEM careers.
  • Create a “startup visa” for job-creating entrepreneurs.  The proposal allows foreign entrepreneurs who attract financing from U.S. investors or revenue from U.S. customers to start and grow their businesses in the United States, and to remain permanently if their companies grow further, create jobs for American workers, and strengthen our economy.
  • Expand opportunities for investor visas and U.S. economic development.  The proposal permanently authorizes immigrant visa opportunities for regional center (pooled investment) programs; provides incentives for visa requestors to invest in programs that support national priorities, including economic development in rural and economically depressed regions ; adds new measures to combat fraud and national security threats; includes data collection on economic impact; and creates a pilot program for  state and local government officials to promote economic development.
  • Create a new visa category for employees of federal national security science and technology laboratories.  The proposal creates a new visa category for a limited number of highly-skilled and specialized immigrants to work in federal science and technology laboratories on critical national security needs after being in the United States. for two years and passing rigorous national security and criminal background checks.
  • Better addresses humanitarian concerns. The proposal streamlines immigration law to better protect vulnerable immigrants, including those who are victims of crime and domestic violence.  It also better protects those fleeing persecution by eliminating the existing limitations that prevent qualified individuals from applying for asylum.
  • Encourage integration. The proposal promotes earned citizenship and efforts to integrate immigrants into their new American communities linguistically, civically, and economically.

In addition to Obama’s proposal, I posted I-Squared Act 2013 details earlier that has language to change Legal immigration as well.



  1. rajarshi ray on February 3, 2013 at 1:07 PM

    anti-american policy. thousands of americans will loose job.

  2. Tapan on February 3, 2013 at 4:25 AM

    so what does it mean ? Now in f1 visa interview we have to say we will return back india and will not be a potential immigrant or now instead we will say we will remain there and help the economy ??
    what will be the possible answers for this question ? will you please elaborate Mr HSB Raghu

    • HSB Counselor on February 4, 2013 at 5:40 AM

      Hi Tapan, well these regulations should not affect the visa interview preparation. You need to be genuine while answering. There is no harm in sharing the exact plans. Students pursuing STEM programmes are eligible for a CPT and an OPT. After that if you have a suitable job opportunity you may plan to stay longer else you can come back as well.

      Good day!

  3. vijaysridharan on February 2, 2013 at 4:14 PM

    i read this in a and I feel he makes sense, ”
    This is a masterstroke by the US. Every STEM (PhD) graduate makes in the range of USD 100k to 150k per year. Let us say that the US decides to keep 100000 of these people with green cards, then with a 20% marginal tax rate they are looking at additional yearly revenues of USD 2 Billion per year. Don’t forget state taxes, social security and medicare payments by these people. Plus, the impact of these people to the US economy will be tremendous, over the long term, the impact is about 10 to 100 fold per person. So, the US is easily looking at gaining 1Trillion over the next 10-20 years by
    retaining its STEM graduates.

    Now let us look at the stupid Indian leadership. First, due to reservations, poor government support to education sector, and extremely bad salaries to STEM faculty, they send the students away. Next, if most of these students stay back, and India contributes to about 25% of the student pool (more if recent data is consulted), India is losing about 500M USD (2500 crores) per year in tax revenue. Since there is no use paying this tax, and only 4% of the Indian population pays taxes (like cows they are milked), the students are much better off settling in the US.

    The biggest resource countries will fight over in this century is human resource. Countries like US, Canada, Germany, Australia etc., have a plan for this and they are
    slowly but steadily making progress. The leaders in India are busy filing FIRs against people, who dare to criticize things, to bring a positive change to the system.”

    • picordecerebro on February 3, 2013 at 5:15 AM


      Interesting analysis. I agree with you that US shall benefit from retaining those that acquire advanced degrees in STEM and related fields of study. But, I think you overestimate the amount of that benefit.

      I don’t quite understand how you went from the figure of $2 Billion to $1 Trillion. What makes you say that ” … the impact is about 10 to 100 fold per person”. Moreover, if the “benefit” from such changes to immigration policy were to amount to $1 Trillion over next 10 to 20 years, it wouldn’t have been so hard for the US to cut its deficits and balance its budget.

      There will definitely be a considerable contribution made to US economy by the STEM graduates that will get to stay back in the US. Using your figure of $100K/year for 100,000 STEM graduates, lets do the math again, only slightly differently. For the sake of the argument lets assume that all the money that a STEM graduate shall make during a year will stay in the US i.e. it will stay in circulation in the US economy in one way or the other. That means in one year that will contribute ‘at least’ (i’ll get to why I’ve used this phrase here later) $10 Billion. The size of the US economy is roughly $16 Billion, give or take a few hundred billions. That makes the contribution of STEM graduates barely 1/16th of 0.01% to the GDP. This is not a small number – we are talking about tens of billions here, but in the bigger scheme of things … .

      I am inclined to agree that ” … the impact … per person” will be high. For STEM graduates will invariably end up contributing to the economy by way of entrepreneurship and innovations in academia as well as industry i.e. more patents, more high-technology businesses, more people get jobs, etcetera. But that still may not amount to 10 fold per person, let alone 100. However, I do hope to hearing from you how you go about calculating the impact per person.

      Now, lets get to the next paragraph where you discuss the adverse impact on this “brain drain” on India and its economy.

      The figure of $500 million that you calculate for the amount of immediate loss to Indian exchequer is completely misplaced. If those 25% of the STEM pool students were to come back to India, in all likelihood, their paycheques will not nearly be in concert with what they would make if the were in the US. According to IMF, implied PPP (Purchasing Power Parity) rate of conversion of India in 2015 will be ~19% i.e. INR 100 is roughly equal to $19. So, that means the per your numbers, factoring in the implied PPP, India is set to lose considerably less than $30 million.

      It is not the direct loss that is the sad part for India. What is sad is that our government back home in India refuses to recognize that we are raising and teaching kids to adulthood – everything at our expense mind you – and then sending them to the west so they can contribute to those economies. The funny bit is yet to come. Most international graduate students of Indian origin raise loans back home in India to come over to the US. How twisted is that? It is as if it is not just a “brain drain”, but a systematic pipeline of top notch human resource and monetary wealth from India’s treasure chest to US’s coffers. We have to wise up, and soon.

      – aman

  4. picorcerebro on February 1, 2013 at 2:16 PM

    President Obama’s proposal for immigration reform shall stay on the back burner while the proposal made by Senate gets “debated”. Having said that though, it seems both proposals propose similar changes to the way H1B visas and Green Cards are being issued to people who get their advanced educations in the US.

    – aman

  5. Prasad on February 1, 2013 at 6:12 AM

    Hi HSB i request

  6. munna on January 30, 2013 at 8:18 PM

    “Staple” green cards to advanced STEM diplomas.

    How they will do that it is unclear? what abt those who are in OPT or working in University or consultancy or proper company H-1B or some other visa or even who left USA? Say someone has a MS and now he is studying for Ph.D. can he leave Ph.D. and apply for Green Card becoz he already has a STEM Masters Degree.

    • Raghuram Sukumar on January 30, 2013 at 10:12 PM

      Munna – We have to wait and see how this is implemented. But in theory, if you get a job after MS (STEM), employer can apply for your GC. Employer could delay filing your application though.

      • Akshay001 on January 31, 2013 at 2:54 AM

        its beyond our imaginations how they gonna successfully do it!! they should rectify immigration system for sure but GC immediately after STEM degree will see huge HUGE crowds flocking to USA no doubt…every Tom-Dick-Harry will be applying to US schools instead of trying luck at IITs & IIMs….Moreover there is no quota for F1 visas! there will be a huge chaos for sure!!

        Ther was an old famous say In the 80s that one Indian CEO of the top US corporations asked his son; “Son try to get into IITs even if you have to give up 2 years for preparing for JEE. still if you fail to get in, then only consider MIT/Stanford etc.”
        Now i sense picture will change FOREVER! coz IITs and IIMs had buyers ONLY because they were selling American Dream at cheapest price called brain drain!

        • warlock on February 2, 2013 at 1:48 AM

          @Akshay no doubt the americans are intelligent by making world class insti ….. Iam an IITan and i seriously feel that there is a need for the reform in education system in india as only under grad are done here and 0 scope for masters ……. Above that getting into these premier insti in India is highly tough gamble and heart broken too …..we have to make the system edgy enough to compare it with MIT and Stanford……And y dont u think that if every indian goes to such insti in US wont u be proud of having people like azim premji and rajeev chandrashaker in your country !!!!

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