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For STEM Students to Stay

The Biden Administration is making policy changes that will make it easier for international STEM students to stay in the US after graduation, the Wall Street Journal reports.

According to the Journal, the changes include increasing the number of fields international students can work in while on a student visa as well as allowing students on a J-1 visa to work in the US for up to three years, rather than the current 18 months. This, it adds, could provide an alternative to the popular H-1B visa that is limited in supply. At the same time, the Biden Administration is issuing new guidelines for O-1 visas, which are difficult qualify for, but have no cap in number, as well as streamline the green card process, the Journal adds.

However, the Journal writes that these small changes are unlikely to attract many more international STEM workers, but it notes that bigger changes would have to go through Congress where they would be enmeshed in broader political fights.

The US Chamber of Commerce's Jon Baselice tells the Journal that the updates "will help American companies meet their critical workforce needs," though he adds that "more needs to be done to update and modernize our nation's immigration system."