Graduating Indian students facing trouble over H1B Visa Ban can go for OPT

By : |June 29, 2020 2

US President Donald Trump called for a temporary suspension of the H1B visa system. He directed his administration to move in the direction of merit-based immigration. But even then, the H1B visa and other work visas are suspended till the end of the year. This merit-based system will prioritise the highest-skilled workers and protect American jobs.

While many people think that this is an election gimmick, it seriously affects the Indian students who are studying abroad and want to work in the US. Initially, we talked about how this ban affected the Indian and the American IT industry. But looking at the scenario, students are not far behind. In 2018, over 4 lakh Indian Students were studying in the US. They all graduate in 2020.

Due to the job opportunities and the Silicon Valley, the US is one of the top choices of Indians who go to study abroad. These include Engineers, Scientists, Developers and Business Graduates. While a large part of the student population stands unaffected. For example, students who are on an F1 visa or are working on OPT. Even if you are planning to go for your education in the coming season, you can. This is only about work visas.

But, if you are an Indian, who graduated in the class of 2020, you won’t be able to change from F1 to H1B. You will have to go under the merit-based process that won’t guarantee you a job.

Students’ woes

Netizens took to Twitter to explain their problems and contribution. They face backlash from American students too.

1. Paying four times, earning less, this person spoke up:

2. And it’s not just Indians

3. Support from the world

4. Backlash from Americans

White-Collar Workers of America @WCWOA said, “F1 #OPT -> #H1B during the Ban? #WeAreNotOkayWithThis. [We should give] No new #h1bvisa. This clearly shows that American back Trump’s decision.

The challenges this H1B Visa Ban will produce on students

1. Mounting student loans

The cost of studying may not be very high in the country, but the living expenses are. Thus, the loans on a student bundle up and mount high on the pyramid. While it is easy for students who are native-Americans, Indian parents usually can’t afford to send their students. In that case, they rely on the jobs to pay off the loans. With the job loss, these loans are a high-affecting factor to the students.

2. Low paying jobs in India

It will be difficult for students to come back to India, as it is. But even if you do, as you have no options, you will have to take up a job here. Of course, students have options to get into the Start-up brigade, but if you opt for a high paying job, Indian companies are laying off more than they can hire. So the best bet would be to take a low paying job. Indian companies have no job guarantees, thanks to the pandemic.

3. Cannot assist scientists internationally

American Scientists generally hire international students to work for them. This gives them exposure and they have to pay less. With H1B suspended, the students will get sponsorship and science projects won’t get hardworking students.

If you are an Indian student, stranded without a job offer and thus, don’t have an H1B Visa, here is what you can do:

The official order has not yet affected OPT. So, those who are completing the degree in 2020, face bleak but prospects. The Indian graduates receive 90 days after graduation to find a job. With a job offer, they can amend their student visa to an “OPT or Optional Practical Training” status and work legally for 12 months. This way they can earn money to pay off debts while gaining U.S. experience.

Thanks to U.S. administration, engineers and computer science major receive three years of a work permit under the OPT program. However, you need to procure the essential “Employment Authorization Document (EAD)” during the 90 days following graduation.

Read More: Why Trump banning H-1B Visa is bad news for Americans (and Indians)?

H1B

2 Comments so far

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  1. Db
    #1 Db 30 June, 2020, 17:57

    They should be happy that the US finally has a president that looks out for citizens first. More visa bans will be coming.

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  2. Nick
    #2 Nick 1 July, 2020, 06:41

    When does the unemployment counter of 90 days starts for Indian students planning to work on stem OPT. Is it right after the college program ends, after one graduates or after OPT is approved?

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