Green Card in the US: New immigration bill may make it easier for educated Indians to stay

While the US is tightening up its borders with increasing security, travel bans, and reduced H1-B work visa offers- a new bill in known as Reforming American Immigration for a Strong Economy (RAISE) Act might be changing the residency situation for Indian students studying in the United States. The act wants to begin a point based system much like the Canadian Permanent Residency (PR) program where young, educated, skilled, and english speaking immigrants would be preferred over people who claim residency because of their family. 

While its only a bill, the new point system would greatly help Indian students planning to study in the US with getting a green card. Here are some points criteria that seem beneficial: 

  1.  Good undergrad education: An applicant with a US high school diploma or the foreign equivalent gets one point; a foreign bachelor's degree earns five points, while a US bachelor's degree earns six points.
  2. Further Studies: A foreign master's degree in STEM fields earns seven points while a US master's earns eight points. A foreign professional degree or doctorate earns 10 points and a US equivalent earns 13.
  3. Age: Those aged 18 through 21 gets six points, ages 22 through 25 gets eight points, and ages 26 through 30 get 10 points.
  4. English Proficiency: Points are also given out for English proficiency, as determined by standardized English test. Anyone with less than a 60th percentile proficiency gets no points, those between 60th and 80th percentile get six points, someone in the 80th to 90th percentile range earns 10 points, those with a 90th percentile proficiency or above earns 11 points, and someone in the 100th percentile range earns 12 points.
  5. Job offer: Five points are awarded if an applicant has a job offer that will pay at least 150% of median household income in the state where he or she will be employed; eight points if pay is 200% of median income, and 13 points if it's 300% the median.

IF (which is a big if) this bill passes, A young Indian between the age 26 to 30 who has just wrapped up a Ph.D in U.S, is proficient in English, and who has a job offer of about $ 160,000 per year or more (approximately three times the national median income) would be a shoo-in for one of the 140,000 employment-based Green Cards the U.S issues annually. This bill does seem like it will help both the US economy, save Trump's message of foreigners taking away jobs, and most importantly be an amazing return on investment for an education from the US.