Most of the international students who are in the US are very much concerned about what is on hold and what to do next. Most of them live in the constant fear that the new administration may cancel the Optional Practical TrainingExtension or OPT Extension for STEM students. However, a post was shared by the US DHS saying that STEM will not be discontinued but will be granted only when the DSO of the student recommends for an extension.
OPT in USAstarts only during their graduation or after graduation from an employer and the student can undergo OPT after their bachelor's degree, master's degree and doctorate degree. If the new administration plans to cancel the extension then hundreds and thousands of techies who are studying in the US no longer makes sense. There is no mention of any OPT extension getting canceled now though the 7-country ban exists plus new rules to the existing H-1B’s.
However, the students who are currently studying are anticipating the changes as the international students earning STEM degrees is soaring whereas the number of actual US citizens is falling. However, the president is also telling in interviews that the students must not be kicked out as the country needs smart people like them and he has been quite vocal on Buy American and Hire American. He does not have any issues with illegal immigrants but the same rules do not apply to those who have come illegally. International students also can stay in the US for a grace period of 60 days after their studies are over on F-1 in the case of non-enrollment of additional classes and must get OPT jobs in USAto stay.
If there is indeed revoking on OPT or OPT extension then it will benefit other immigrant-friendly nations such as Australia, Canada, and NZ among others. They will start attracting students. Most of them must look forward to securing a job beforehand they travel to study in the US or consider going to immigrant friendly countries as they offer such extensions for a period of anywhere between 2 to 4 years thus giving ample time for the students to look for jobs and secure work visas.
India is the second leading country of origin to send international students to the US and one in every 6 students is an Indian. If new rules are being formed then the heterogeneity will go missing and the US universities may not like this. Other universities may become more lucrative in other countries. There is already a significant decrease in the candidates going to the US this year as more number of inquiries are coming from Canada etc. There are many who are looking for securing jobs beforehand or looking for opportunities in other countries where the students can also get back to further studies. There are plenty of undergraduates too who are in the US right now who want to stay back to pursue Post Graduation and many post graduates who are planning to get their Ph.D. The future seems bleak and uncertain for students right now and It is your turn to tread carefully and be prepared to face any kind of circumstance. Get OPT job alerts from https://www.simplyopt.com/.