Congressional Recognition of The Need for Employment in Areas of Science and Technology, Computer Sc

Republican Senator John McCain has introduced a bill titled the “21st Century Technology Resources and Commercial Leadership Act.” This bill (meant to address a shortage workers with advanced training in the math and sciences) proposes to suspend the cap on H-1B non-immigrants through 2006. Under current law, no more than 115,000 H-1B visas can be issued in the next two years with the cap dropping thereafter.

In addition, this bill proposes to provide H-1B petitioners with advanced degrees in math, science, engineering or technology from a U.S. University be given priority processing by the INS. This bill may be up for consideration by Congress in the year 2001 after consideration by the Commerce Committee.

Another bill has also been introduced in the House of Representatives by House Member Lofgren, Democrat, California. This bill proposes to amend the Immigration and Nationality Act to allow those persons completing graduate work in mathematics, science, engineering or computer science to change their non- immigrant classification and remain in the U.S. for a five year period to work in a field related to the above mentioned areas of study.

It is important to note that for those persons with degrees or seeking degrees in mathematics, engineering, computer science and related fields, that there is growing recognition of a shortage of persons in these areas of employment. This will be significant in terms of future legislation, as well aid to immediate efforts to obtain labor certification for “green card” or lawful permanent status as well as H-1B Visa applicants.