immigration reform may help you Our entire country is undergoing a big bipartisan push, both democrats and republicans both support changing the current US immigration laws.
Immigration Reform may help you
Hey, I recently realized that not only do international students need the most accurate and up to date information they can get on how to obtain a student visa and pass the F-1 Student Visa Interview, you can also benefit from information about how US laws are changing and how these could affect you as a visa student who is coming here to study and/or you are thinking about coming to the US in the immediate future and want to be as prepared as possible.Immigration Reform May Help YouOur entire country is currently undergoing a big bipartisan push, this means both democrats and republicans both support changing the status quo, to reform our current immigration laws. These changes are mainly focused on the number of immigrants, both legal and illegal currently in the United States. Some organizations and politicians support a decrease in immigrants and there are also several groups and politicians that support immigration to the United States (I’m in this group myself), including: Senator John McCain, Congressman Chris Cannon and the National Immigration Forum.So to let you know what this immigration reform could mean to you on a student visa, I read recently that ABC News said this week that if the current immigration reform laws pass it will mean that students on visas who are pursuing certain degrees, more on these degrees in a minute, will be able to stay in the US and work after graduation instead of being required to leave the US after you finish your education.They go on further to say, and what most people here don’t talk about and realize is such a positive result of our increasing student visa population each year, your effect on the U.S. economy and job market is already significant and making it easier for you to stay in the US will increase these effects even more.If you want to read more about this financial effect, I recommend reading this analysis from the Brookings Institute.STEM Degrees = Jobs and $$$As a visa student in a STEM program (this stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics…click here for a list of all of them), you can already get into an extension program that lets you stay in the US for an additional 17 months. Even if you are not a STEM student you can still get into an extension program that will let you stay in the US after you graduate for awhile. Really?The new immigration reform laws could make it easier for you to stay here and you can become eligible for a green card after you graduate.That’s right, you will have a better chance of staying here legally as a STEM graduate if immigration reform passes.The impact of letting you stay here longer could be big for the US: for example, back in 2010, about 96,200 incoming foreign students (pursuing STEM degrees) could have become eligible for a green card after graduation. The H-1B visa program (green card) is one of the main ways you can change your status and stay in the US legally.And even though the US attracts 21% of all students who study abroad and this is a higher percentage than any other country, foreign students make up only 3.5% of college students. This may sound like a small number of students, but if most of you are allowed to get green cards and stay here in the US instead of leaving as is now required, the towns and cities where you decide to live will be impacted greatly because of the impact you will have on the labor pool in these areas.Pros and ConsSome people see this as a problem because the more foreign students that stay and enter the workforce as college graduates the less opportunities there will be for American students to compete for these jobs – there simply will be more students applying for the same jobs and more of these students will be well-educated foreigners.Some people don’t agree this will be a problem because the U.S. has been struggling to fill STEM jobs and there has been bipartisan agreement about the idea of letting you get your degree (in a STEM) field and then staying here legally so our country will benefit from your education.What this means to youIf immigration reform goes through, if you are pursuing your degree in a STEM field this means you could stay in the US for an additional 17 months after you graduate and you will have a better chance of getting your green card if you want to stay here.If immigration reform does not go through, if you are pursuing your degree in a STEM field you will still be allowed to stay here and work for an additional 17 months if you want to.You should also realize that STEM students are considered particularly desirable because you, like your American counterparts, offer the types of skills critical to building a vibrant “knowledge” economy—whether in the United States or elsewhere. So if you haven’t decided on a degree to pursue, I highly suggest looking over the list of over 300 different STEM degrees and looking at the benefits of earning one of these increasingly valuable college degrees.Stay tuned for more updates on immigration reform.Go USA!All information presented here is from my personal research and my attempts to save you time and money when pursuing your dream of coming to the USA to study. Do not take any of this information as LEGAL advice – I am not an attorney, nor do I play one on TV. This information is gathered from a variety of sources including many U.S. Government websites and I urge you to validate this information as much as possible, just as I do when posting on this blog.