Thousands of Indian students migrate to the United States to attend university every year. It is a well-worn road that often begins with a student visa and, ideally, concludes with the opportunity to stay and work.
When contemplating an overseas move that may potentially change your life, many questions will arise in the process. Here is a run-down of some of the most frequently asked questions by students and their parents
1. Which visa is the best?
Students move to the US on a student visa, either F-1 or M-1 depending on whether the degree is academic or vocational.
Student visas appeal to most individuals since the expenses are modest and the application procedure is simple.
However, these visas contain restrictions on working throughout the school year and after graduation, prompting some students to seek alternate options.
The EB-5 Visa has gained popularity among Indian parents seeking a better future for their children.
2. Do I want to stay and work in the United States after graduation?
While student visas are a very low-cost and simple method to study in the United States, they are not necessarily an option for securing your future in the United States. There are several hurdles a student must jump through after graduation to land a job in the United States.
OPT allows students to stay in the United States for up to a year. Students working in science, technology, engineering, or mathematics can apply for a two-year extension. STEM experts will be given preferential consideration for H-1B visas through a lottery system.
H-1B visas are the most popular among Indians, and it is a well-travelled route from India to the United States. The EB-5 Investor Visa, on the other hand, does not oblige students to leave the country if they do not find work.
The H-1B visa is renewable for a maximum of six years, after which the employee must return to India or acquire another permit to stay.
3. Do I want to work in addition to studying?
Students are permitted to work part-time on campus if hired directly by the university or by a commercial company that provides student services.
Students may get off-campus job experience linked to their subject of study after their first year through either Current Practical Training (CPT) or pre-completion Optional Practical Training (OPT). Students who obtain a Green Card under the EB-5 programme, on the other hand, have permanent residence, allowing them to work for any business on or off-campus for as many hours as they like throughout the school year (unless the school has its own rules about working hours).
Employers of Green Card holders have less administrative hassle than students on CPT and OPT.
4. Can the students’ families join them in the United States?
Unfortunately, parents and siblings cannot accompany their children on student visas. However, for individuals who can afford the $500,000 required investment, the EB-5 Visa is a fine choice.
A single investment and application can include the applicant and their spouse and any minor children under 21.
5. How far ahead of time should I begin planning?
The extended shutdown has resulted in a backlog that will take some time to clear. If you are thinking of applying for a visa, it is usually a good idea to get in line as soon as possible.
US consulates are prioritising student visa appointments, but if you’re considering other visas you’ll have to wait because of covid delays.
As always, prospective students and their families have a variety of immigration alternatives. The best solution is to speak with a US-licensed immigration lawyer about your situation since it’s never too early to start planning for your child’s future in the United States.
– Article by Mark Davies, Global Chairman, Davies and Associates, LLC
READ How students in Tier-II cities can learn more about study abroad options
READ Reasons why EB-5 visa is the best route for students who want to study abroad