The United States has more international students than any nation, with many of these students in California. However, our current immigration system makes it hard for these students to remain in the country after graduation.
Why is it hard for international students to stay?
Many international students struggle with immigration policies because they want to remain in the United States after graduation. Unfortunately, many of these students are unable to remain in the country, hence they are seeking opportunities in other countries that will enable them to use their education that they received in the U.S. Some of the countries that offer visas that U.S.-trained graduates can take advantage of are:
- The United Kingdom
Despite many students wishing to stay after graduation, the U.S. lacks a dedicated postgraduate work visa. Optional Practical Training is an option suitable for three years that comes without a permanent residency option.
Has immigration policy changed international students?
Some graduates who want to stay try to receive H-1B visas. However, this pathway has some serious drawbacks. The demand for these visas has outpaced the supply. These visas have an annual cap of 85,000 The cap has been the same for over 15 years 3/4 of current H-1B recipients are Indian, and there are restrictions on the number of green cards that a country’s nationals can receive yearly. Because of the backlog of immigrants awaiting permanent residency, some workers may wait for years.
The bigger impact on the job market
The U.S. immigration system has a severe impact on employers as well. According to an Envoy Global survey, 82% of employers had to let a foreign employee go because of visa process difficulties.
The “immigrant brain drain” will continue if graduates lack workable options to stay in the U.S. Student visa recipients may benefit from keeping their options open.