High-Skilled Immigration Reform

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NAFSA supports creating an immigration process that serves our nation's current and future needs and strengthens our educational institutions. Immigration reform is needed to ensure that the United States remains competitive to attract the world's talented students and scholars to our colleges and universities, strengthens our economy, and reclaims the values that make this nation a land of opportunity, equality, and freedom for all.

NAFSA supports immigration reform solutions that:  

  • Welcome foreign students and expand "dual intent"-now offered only to certain high-skilled professionals-to remove the requirement that in order to obtain a visa and study in the United States, students must prove that they have no intention of staying, working, and contributing to our economy and local communities after they graduate. 
  • Create a direct path to green cards for those international students graduating from U.S. higher education institutions who have the education and skills needed in our economy and have employers willing to sponsor them.
  • Allow spouses and children of foreign students and scholars to engage in study and work opportunities.
  • Make more green cards available, end per-country limits, and eliminate the green card backlog.
  • Prioritize predictable visa processing times. 
  • Provide a path to citizenship for Dreamers.

NAFSA does not support immigration reform measures that:   

  • Undermine the United States' history and strength as a nation that welcomes immigrants of all types, from all parts of the world.
  • Further destabilize communities and immigration law by adherence to an enforcement-only agenda.
  • Pit immigrant communities against each other for access to green cards.
  • Make high-skilled immigrant opportunities available only to those with STEM degrees.
  • Ignore the valuable input of foreign students and high-skilled immigrants to our economy and security.
  • Limit opportunities for foreign students to engage in experiential learning after graduating from U.S. higher education institutions.
  • Bar spouses and children of foreign students and scholars working or studying.

Contact  

Heather Stewart, Counsel and Director of Immigration Policy, 202.737.3699 x4403, heathers@nafsa.org  

 More Information  

NAFSA immigration priorities and resources: nafsa.org/immigration