In the coming years, more appealing work visa opportunities for international students are expected in the United States.
As more countries fight for talent, Allan Goodman, head of the Institute of International Education, told Times Higher Education that post-university employment might “become quite competitive.”
According to Goodman, countries that can “staple a green card” to some extent “will have an advantage in the war for talent.” Candidates in the 2024 presidential race may “argue we need to adopt schemes” similar to those used by other countries, as other developed countries “require people from everywhere” as their populations age.
In this aspect, his statements follow the dwindling appeal of an American degree. Canada is well-known for its visa and immigration policies, which allow overseas students to stay in the country after finishing their studies. The Graduate route was also developed by the UK government for international students who want to continue working after finishing their education. This allows students to work or look for work in the UK without being sponsored by a firm.
According to a recent Interstride report, 42 per cent of survey respondents decided to study in the United States because of the ranking and reputation of American colleges. This was followed by 23% of students stating that they came to the US because they wanted to work in the country after graduation. As per the survey, headlined “Is studying in the US worth it?” foreign students are finding it difficult to justify their pricey education due to a lack of work opportunities in the US after graduation. Almost three-quarters (71%) of respondents indicated they would stay in the US to work if job opportunities were better after graduation.
Career centres in universities and colleges are underutilized – only 53% of students found them useful, and less than a quarter of them credited career centres with assisting them in achieving their career goals. According to the report, there is a distinct “value gap” between students’ pleasure with their academic experience and their prospects for future work.
International graduates can currently stay and work in the United States through the Optional Practical Training (OPT) programme, which is a temporary job arrangement directly related to one’s field of study at university. The OPT can last up to 12 months, however, graduates of specific STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) courses can seek a 24-month extension.
Following the conclusion of their OPT period, international graduates can continue to work in the US under the H-1B visa, but there is a catch: the application must be completed by an employer. The H-1B visa is frequently the first step toward acquiring a green card, however, many international graduates are unable to pursue this road due to a lack of adequate network ties.
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