New Jersey Governor signs tuition equality legislation for H-1B dependents

Trenton: New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy on Jan. 21 signed S2555, allowing New Jersey students who are children of H-1B visa holders to qualify for in-state tuition at public institutions of higher education. This legislation is a plus for Indians in the U.S., as they are the largest contingent of H-1B visa holders.

“New Jerseyans deserve equal access to higher education, and today we are taking another step toward making that possible,” Governor Murphy is quoted saying in a press release. “I’m proud to sign the legislation to help our students achieve their education goals, pursue a successful future, and live their dreams here in their home state,” he added.

Primary sponsors of the legislation include Senators Vin Gopal and M. Teresa Ruiz, and Assembly members Raj Mukherji, Daniel Benson, and Robert Karabinchak.

“When someone comes to New Jersey on an H-1B visa, they’re bringing their own unique expertise, intellect, and insight to the challenges and opportunities our state faces,” said State Senator Gopal, the only Indian-American elected to the New Jersey State Senate. “But when we deny their children the opportunity to access an affordable college education right here at home, we’re shutting the door on a whole new generation of brilliance and talent. When we make higher education more affordable for these kids, we’re supporting their academic pursuits while encouraging them to cultivate and apply their skills right here in the Garden State.”

However, there are some qualifications for receiving the benefits of the measure. While the S2555 exempts dependent students whose parents or guardians hold H-1B visas from paying out-of-state tuition, they have to meet certain criteria, including having graduated from a New Jersey high school and having attended a New Jersey high school for at least three years.

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