Bill to qualify children of H1-B visa-holders for in-state tuition clears committee in New Jersey

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Legislation sponsored by Senator Vin Gopal, which would allow dependent students whose parent or guardian hold an H1-B visa to qualify for in-state tuition, cleared the Senate Higher Education Committee, last week.

An H1-B visa applies to people who perform services in a specialty occupation. This includes services of exceptional merit and ability relating to a federal Department of Defense cooperative research and development project, or services as a fashion model of distinguished merit or ability.

“These students live in New Jersey and graduate from high school in New Jersey, but because of the specific kind of job their parent holds, they’re forced to pay extreme tuition costs. That doesn’t make any sense, and goes against our commitment to keep our students in our state throughout their studies,” said Senator Gopal (D-Monmouth), in a statement.

“This bill gives these students the opportunity to receive an affordable higher education in New Jersey, which allows them to stay close to family and the communities they know while strengthening their ability to find work in-state after graduating,” he said.

The bill, S-2555, would exempt students whose parents or guardians hold H1-B visas from paying out-of-State tuition at public institutions of higher education provided that they meet certain criteria outlined in the bill.

Some of these criteria would require the student to have attended high school in New Jersey for three or more years, and that the student has graduated from a high school or received the equivalent of a high school diploma in this State in order to be eligible.

Gopal represents New Jersey’s 11th Legislative District in the State Senate. The 11th District includes the Monmouth County municipalities of Allenhurst, Asbury Park, Colts Neck, Deal, Eatontown, Freehold Borough, Freehold Township, Interlaken, Loch Arbour, Long Branch, Neptune City, Neptune, Ocean Township, Red Bank, Shrewsbury Borough, Shrewsbury Township, Tinton Falls and West Long Branch.

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