If there are no jobs for university graduates in Saudi Arabia — particularly female graduates — then it makes sense to look for work elsewhere. Arab News reports that Saudi students in the US are finding the possibility of obtaining a Green Card (Permanant Resident Card) attractive. Being able to stay in the US and find work is better than returning to a place where unemployment and underemployment are too likely a result.

I suspect that those Saudis studying in the US under King Abdullah’s foreign scholarship program would be ineligible as I’d be surprised if the terms of the scholarship didn’t require returning to the Kingdom. But I don’t know the exact terms; there may be a loophole for those students wishing to remain in the US.

Saudi students encouraged over US ‘green card’ plan

Saudi university students studying in the United States say an offer of a residency permit from the Obama administration would increase employment opportunities for young Saudis and even provide leverage as a means to find work in the US.

As Washington legislators debate immigration reform, a persistent position among Democrats, President Obama and Vice-President Joe Biden is to encourage foreign students to remain in the United States after earning their post-graduate degree by offering a legal residence permit, called a green card. A green card serves as a pathway to US citizenship.

The US government is particularly interested in students with a master’s degree or Ph.D in science, technology, engineering and mathematics — called STEM degree programs — because of their potential to contribute to the American economy.

Israa Saleh, a Saudi MBA student in Boston said the idea of working in the United States is appealing because of the lack of jobs in Saudi Arabia.

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