Press Release

AIAA Endorses the “STEM Jobs Act of 2012”

By SpaceRef Editor
September 18, 2012
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55,000 “Green Cards” to be Allocated for Top Foreign Graduates of U.S. Universities in STEM Fields

September 17, 2012 – Reston, Va. – The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) has endorsed the “STEM Jobs Act of 2012,” to be introduced on Tuesday, September 18, by Congressman Lamar Smith of Texas.

The “STEM Job Act of 2012” seeks to eliminate the “diversity visa” lottery, which benefits immigrants from countries with low rates of immigration to the U.S. Instead, those 55,000 permanent resident “green cards” each year would go to the top foreign graduates of U.S. universities with doctoral degrees in science, technology, engineering, and/or mathematics (STEM). Any remaining green cards would be granted to such graduates with master’s degrees in STEM fields. Candidates for employment under the bill would have to receive the degree in question from an eligible U.S. university in a STEM field, taken all of their course work in the U.S., be petitioned for by an employer who has gone through labor certification to show that there are not sufficient willing and available American workers for the position who are as qualified as the foreign applicant, and agree to work for five years for the petitioning employer or in the U.S. in a STEM field.

“The STEM Jobs Act of 2012 promises to help the United States economy remain globally competitive by increasing the number of green cards available for foreign graduates of America’s universities who have attained advanced degrees in the fields of science, technology, engineering and/or mathematics (STEM),” noted AIAA Executive Director Robert S. Dickman. “This legislation helps assure that the United States will benefit from these individuals’ talents and expertise, and will continuously ensure that the world’s best talent in STEM fields is able to be retained by U.S. firms. Additionally, this legislation promises to spur American innovation in the STEM fields, continuing a rich legacy of advancement and discovery by U.S. STEM firms.”

A summary of the draft bill can be found at:

The draft bill can be found at:

AIAA is the world’s largest technical society dedicated to the global aerospace profession. With more than 35,000 individual members worldwide, and nearly 100 corporate members, AIAA brings together industry, academia, and government to advance engineering and science in aviation, space, and defense. For more information, please visit

SpaceRef staff editor.