The Raise Act’s point system

Ernie Tedeschi analyzes the RAISE Act, proposed by Republican Senators, in detail, and finds the only 2.1% of current adult American citizens would qualify under its skilled-based entry system just to be considered for permanent residency, much less accepted.

The NY Times presents a tool for grading yourself. I scored 18, well below the 30 point threshold for acceptance. A 40 year old professor, perfectly fluent in English, would have to earn at least $160,000 to get over the threshold.

“Of the 750,000 US citizens who naturalized in 2014 in the ACS, only 20,000 (2.7%) would have qualified under the RAISE Act. It’s important to note that not all 750,000 would have been admitted under employment-based visas: many for example likely came because of family, and some may have gotten visas through the diversity lottery.”

The RAISE Act uses a point system, like Canada and Australia, and sets 30 points as the minimum for a skills-based Green card. It would award only 140,000 of them a year.

Age: 26 – 30 year olds get 10 points, those over 50 get 0

Education: 8 points for a STEM masters, 13 points for a STEM PhD, law degree, or MBA from a US university

English proficiency: You essentially have to speak English well enough to be admitted to an American college (The TOEFL standard). Those scoring in the top 10% of the TOEFL test get 12 points, while those in the bottom half get none.

Income: having a job lined up that pays more than 3x the intended residence state’s median household income gets 13 points; less than 1.5x gets no points.

Extraordinary achievement: 25 points for Nobel Laureates, 15 for recent Olympic athletes

Business investment: 12 points if you invest $1.8 million in a new US business and maintain it for 3 years

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