Since a few days, we have been hearing so many recent changes and updates about Reforming the Immigration System and stopping illegal immigrants. Recently an executive order also has been signed by the president for US H-1B visa with new rules that can change in the future and there are reports that changing more visas also can happen in the future like the H4 EAD, OPT extension etc. There are more executive orders that are on the line to reform the immigration system.
OPT (optional practical training) is the way that most students use to work in the US after they graduate and during the previous president’s rule OPT extension was given by extending the time period. Now one of the plans of the new president is to reverse Obama’s extension of the duration which is doled out to science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) students. One of the main thing in the executive order is to revoke the 24 Months STEM OPT Extension, H-4 EAD.
Now if the new administration is hell bent on revoking OPT and OPT Extension then it could impact the number of international students who are planning to study abroad in the US. The extension allowed international students with STEM degrees to stay in the US for a period of three years after graduating from college.
Foreign students also tend to use the OPT status to either look for jobs or apply for further education or simply stay there till the OPT term expires. It could also lead from opt to h1b or h1b transfer but the reforms for H-1B is more than OPT and the new president also has a stronger stance on H-1B visa abuse.
Now this move could impact the number of Indian students studying in the US. Indian students may now be forced to secure jobs much before they travel to study in the US or also look for other immigration friendly countries like Canada etc. But according to recent reports Australia, New Zealand have also raised a strong move over work visas given to foreign workers and the US has impacted other countries to be tight on their immigration reforms.
Most of the universities have also spoken against president's controversial executive order on immigration and have also been vocal about welcoming foreign students even before he took over. Top US colleges like Yale, Northwestern and University of Virginia have launched a campaign to reassure overseas students that their campuses would always be welcoming to aspiring foreign scholars even weeks after Trump won the election. But that is not enough to diminish student concerns.
There will be an enormous impact as OPT is being used in multiple ways. Students who do not have a job offer once they graduate depend on OPT to sustain in the US. Some may have a job offer but wait for the time till a company sponsors his/her H1B visa. Some may also want to do research and explore other options as well. For now, the best thing that you can do is when you graduate have a job in hand and make sure that the company quickly converts your visa from student to work visa status.
The revocation of extension may not impact those going to ivy league because getting a job from these campuses is relatively higher but the impact will be felt on those going to tier 2 and 3 where placements are lower. Take a safe stand and decide well before heading to the US. You can now take the help of https://www.simplyopt.com/ for latest OPT and H-1B job openings which can help you to get a job right after you graduate.