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Trump’s H-1B Visa changes: should you care?

Whether you are an international student, a prospective student, a faculty member or an employer in the United States you need to know (and care) about the H1-B Visa. Student visas such as the F-1 visa, the F-2 Visa, J-1 visa, J-2 visa allow foreigners to study (and in some cases – work for a set period of time) in the US, but the H1-B visa gives the permit to stay and work even after graduation and after the completion of CPT or OPT. The ability to obtain a work visa can be a determining factor for international students aiming to come to the US, for financial reasons and for career development reasons.

Recently, on April 18th, 2017 President Donald Trump issued a specific Executive Order in which he orders to prioritize the hiring of American citizens and added some conditions and provisions to the H1-B visas in this context. If you are in the process of applying to a study abroad program, or are planning to apply for this specific visa after your graduation, read the below article and first of all - do not panic!
The H1B Visa
Already found a job in the United States? If so, this visa is for you. Among different work visas in the US the H1-B visa is given to foreigners in "special occupations" with a request from the employer with a preference to international graduates who studied in the US and have a master’s degree. The visa is given out by “lottery” and the process can take about six months.
There are three requirements for this visa
1. You need to at least have a bachelor’s degree. You will have an advantage if you have a higher degree related to the job which you are hired to do.
2. You need to already have a job offer when applying for this visa. The job position needs to be in the field of math, engineering, business, medicine and other STEM fields and related to what you studied.
3. You must be paid the prevailing wage for the position which you will be working in. You cannot ask for a lower salary just to get sponsored for an H1-B visa.  
Not everyone can get an H1-B
There is a cap on the H-1B visas given out and it’s only handed to 85,000 people each fiscal year. But, if you are seeking to obtain the visa to work in a higher education institution, a nonprofit organization related to education or a government organization, you should not worry since these institutions are cap-exempt.
You should also know that this visa is given for up to three years. It can be extended but usually not for more than six years.
The recent Trump Executive Order is mostly a warning given by the Trump administration regarding the recruitment of programmers in the field of Information Technology and the consequences for foreign students are not yet clear. For the moment, it will probably add some more time to an already very long process.
Why this is important to international students
Choosing a study destination is based on parameters such as the study program, location, weather, university ranking, and more. As a prospective student who is thinking about a future in a new land, you should also take into consideration immigration policies. The fact is that most international students move back to their home country after graduation and do not pursue a career in their country of study, in many cases due to immigration issues.
Due to the high costs of studying in the US for international students, having the opportunity for employment in the Unites States and being able to stay for work and even one day to immigrate, should be a major factor towards deciding whether or not to study in the US in the first place (unless of course you have an endless amount of cash).
Want to know more? Need help with applying to universities abroad?


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