H1-B visa reform bill leaves Indian students confused!

Feb 01, 2017, 08:30 IST | Silky Sharma and Pallavi Smart

Representation Pic/Thinkstock
Representation Pic/Thinkstock

As the government of the United States of America (USA) tries to bring in stringent visa regulation through the H1B visa reform bill, there is increasing confusion among students aspiring for higher education in USA.

Ever since news of a legislation increasing minimum wage for H1B holders was introduced in the US Congress yesterday, consultancies specialising in overseas education have been flooded with calls, especially regarding the chances of securing the visa after completing their education. Most students go to the US on education loans and a job after the course is imperative to repay them.

Drop your plans
When mid-day spoke to students aspiring for higher education in the US, they raised their concerns over their survival in the country and the repayment of their student loans. "With the new rules being brought about by the US government, Indian students who dream of pursuing their studies in USA have no other option than dropping their plans. A bright Indian student who could earlier think of studying in the US for better qualification will now drop their wish of going there," said Kriss Agarwal, a student who is applying for a US visa.

"Me and a few of my friends are pursuing studies on student loans and some of us have already started working in on H-1B and L1 visas and under the Optional Practical Training (OPT). These visas are the best source for us to stay independent and repay our loans. If the H-1B and other visas cease to be student-friendly then students picking US for their further studies will also decline," said Meet Kumar, a management student in Texas.

Trump won't let it pass
But Zachariah Samuel, from US visa consultancy firm Computrain Abroad says it is a big loss for US universities and the government. "I don't believe that something like this would happen because [US President] Donald Trump is a businessman and he will not prefer a loss that the universities might have to face by ignoring the revenue that they earn by the way of fees from around 1.66 lakh students coming from India."

Karim Charania, from the BBC migration and education consultancy said, "Rather than the students, I think this change in visa policy will hit the IT firms in the US because they are the ones who employ the maximum number of Indians."

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