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Is Trump’s RAISE immigration act good or bad for international students?

President Donald Trump's support of the new RAISE immigration act may have you wondering - is this going to affect me as an international student? Should I be worried? The answer is simply that this new policy will have little affect on your student visas, however, if the bill passes it may affect you after your time abroad. You may find some connection to your second home and decide that you want to work in America as well. This is where the new act may affect you, though not necessarily in a negative way. See the full text of the bill here.


Positives of being an international student
This new immigration policy will favor those with a higher education, especially with a degree from an American university, in addition to earning potential and ability to speak english. This is good news for you because you will have a degree from an American university, which will give you extra points in the new system, and because of that you will have a higher earning potential and you will likely be able speak English pretty well. Additionally, if you win some outstanding achievements during your studies abroad, that will also work to your advantage. This is due to the fact that President Trump's new policy is point based and you will have earned some points right away.


The point system   
Mr. Trump’s system will make it a little harder to get green cards, nevertheless, your studying overseas will have already given you the upper hand.


Applicants would have to get at least 30 points in order to apply for immigration, as judged by their:


  • Highest educational qualification: maximum of 13 points for a US doctorate; one point for a US or foreign high school diploma.
  • age: people over 50 would get no points, with younger people being judged on a sliding scale from two to 10 points, with the ideal age being 26-30 according to the proposal.
  • English proficiency, as judged by a test. Between 0-10 points with 10 for fluent English.
  • Future salary: 13 points for a job offer that paid 300% of the median for their destination state.
  • Investments into the US economy: 12 points for a $1.8 million and above investment in a US business.
  • Achievements: 15 points for an Olympic medal, 25 points for a Nobel prize


This system will make it more difficult to obtain a green card, however, it is also similar to other countries’ immigration policies, such as Australia and Canada. Whether you agree with this new policy is up to you. Fortunately for you, as an international student, you will have a better chance than many. You will have a degree from an American university, you will likely be of a younger age and you will likely speak English well, all of which will grant you some additional points.


The bill has not been passed yet
Note that the bill has not yet been put through the Senate and Congress, and until then it will not be in effect. There is a pretty good chance that it will not pass at all. Regardless, it is an indication of how this administration views immigration policy and may be followed with additional bills if it does not pass.


Have fun during your time abroad and good luck on obtaining your work visas, if you choose to stay and work in the US after you graduate.


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