Sen. Jerry Moran
Sen. Jerry Moran

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Sen. Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) has introduced an amendment to the unemployment extension bill currently being considered in the Senate that would add up to 50,000 new green cards per year with no offsets. His amendment includes the full language for S.310, the Startup Act 3.0, which would create 50,000 provisional green cards for foreign students who graduate with a degree in a STEM field and an additional 75,000 visas for entrepreneurs, which can also become permanent green cards.

Sen. Moran's amendment would create more job competition, particularly for recent college graduates, who have had a difficult time finding work in recent years. Unemployment for 18-29 year olds is currently at its highest level in more than three decades. Further, there are 1.5 million engineers who are working non-engineering jobs.

Here are more details on Startup 3.0:

STEM Grads

The legislation authorizes 50,000 new conditional permanent resident visas for science, technology, engineering, or mathematics (STEM) graduate aliens. In order to qualify, an alien must first have graduated from a U.S. institution higher education with a degree in one of the designated STEM areas. Following graduation, qualifying aliens may remain in the U.S. for up to 1 year if they are diligently seeking "active engagement" in the STEM field. "Active engagement" is defined as gainful employment in a STEM field in the private sector, employment in the STEM field with a US government entity, or teaching at least one STEM course at an institute of higher education.

If a STEM graduate is considered actively engaged in a STEM field, and remains actively engaged, he or she may remain in the US indefinitely as a permanent resident. Aliens granted conditional permanent resident status under this section are not eligible for federal assistance in the form of unemployment benefits or any means-tested public benefits. After 5 years, the condition of the permanent residency will be lifted, and the years of conditional permanent residency will be counted toward the 5-year residency requirement for naturalization.

Aliens who qualify for conditional permanent residence under this section for at least a 1-year period, then cease to be active (due to loss of job, etc.), are given 6 additional months before they are officially considered to be in violation of the condition of their permanent residence.

Immigrant Entrepreneurs

The legislation further authorizes 75,000 new visas for certain qualified immigrant entrepreneurs. Qualified entrepreneurs are aliens who are lawfully present in the United States and hold either an H-1B visa or F visa. The conditional immigrant visa in this section includes conditional permanent resident status.

During the first year after obtaining the new visa, the visa holder must register at least one new business entity in a state, employ at least two full-time employees of no relation to the visa holder, and invest (or raise a capital investment of) at least $100,000.

In the following three years, the visa holder's business must employ an average of five full-time employees of no relation to the visa holder. If an alien no longer qualifies, the Secretary of Homeland Security shall revoke the visa and notify the alien.

Per-Country Numerical Limitation

The per-country numerical limitation is eliminated for employment-based visas, and increased from 7% to 15% for family-based immigrants. 

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