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Tougher H-1B Visas for International Students

H-1 B visa

It has been a long and turbulent three months ever since Donald Trump took White House.  We read many surveys indicating that nearly 40% of U.S. colleges and universities have had a big drop in international applications.

On April 13, the Daily California News reported: “U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services announced Friday that it had reached the H-1B visa cap of 65,000 for the fiscal year 2018 less than a week after applications opened on April 3rd.”

Foreigners acted quickly before Trump could enact changes making it more difficult to apply for H-1B visas.

On April 7, the Washington Post published an article entitled “Obama gave these legal immigrants permission to work. Trump may take it away.”    This suggests that the Trump’s administration may attempt to revoke legal H-1 B visas in order to “give jobs back to his Americans” in an attempt to fulfill his campaign promise to “Make America Great Again.”

“Obtaining the H-1B is one of many obstacles international students face when planning out their careers, in addition to finding employers willing to sponsor their H-1B petitions and finding jobs that match their skill sets.”

Director of International Office at UC, Berkeley: “International students often petition for the H-1B during their Optional Practical Training, or OPT, a period allotted by student visas in which students can stay in the United States to gain work experience.”

By way of a lottery system, the U.S. Congress can issue up to 65,000 H-1B visas and an additional 20,000 visas to international students or workers who hold master’s or doctoral degrees every year.

NBC News on April 19, 2017:

As President Donald Trump criticized the H-1B specialty worker visa program and signed an executive order to — in his words — “finally put America first” Tuesday, tech leaders and workers in Silicon Valley feared what the implications could be for those who rely on the program.

Who Will Have a Better Chance to Get H-1 B visas?

Trump said: “H-1B visas should be given to the most skilled and highest paid applicants, and they should never ever be used to replace Americans.”  This suggests that H-1B visas will be issued primarily to those international students or workers with master’s or doctoral degrees in STEM fields.

Why Are Foreigners Afraid of?

According to NBC’s report, Trump’s executive order instructs the departments of Homeland Security, Justice, Labor, and State to review current H-1 B application procedures.  However, no specific guidance has been given to make an immediate change of the existing H-1 B regulations.   ” The lack of clarity worries current and future applicants of the H-1B visa,” said NBC News.

3 Responses to Tougher H-1B Visas for International Students

  1. lopezkamila89 May 3, 2017 at 5:28 am #

    If this is what’s happening in the United States, international students will choose somewhere else. U.S. is not the only English-speaking country with good universities.

    • May 3, 2017 at 3:57 pm #

      President Trump should listen to you.


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