It’s been a long time since I have written any posts. Been very busy with my Internships and study. Coming back to India on a vacation is really a good time to keep you up to date with the various topics related to Higher Studies. You all might be knowing about the latest news on the Obama’s executive action on the immigration. Obama had told he would repair the broken Immigration system.
This post will cover up the key points Obama has stated and its impact on the International Students currently studying or students who will be going to the US shortly.
Change 1: Optional Practical Training (OPT)
Firstly, According to the current policy, an International Student gets 12 months of OPT period in which the student can work in a company on a full-time basis after graduation. The rule also allow to extend the period of stay in the USA by STEM Extension. After completing the 12 months OPT you can extend it by 17 months if your program that you had pursued is under STEM Extension. To know more about STEM Extension, please read this post. So in all you can stay for a max of 29 months after graduation. After completion of 29 months you must have an H1-B to continue working in the US.
The goal of this latest reform is to first add more programs into the STEM list. Secondly, to increase the OPT period. Many of us heard in the US that the OPT period is going to extend by 4 years. Nothing has been confirmed but the reform states that the OPT period will increase.
Change 2: International Entrepreneurs
The reform states to give lots of advantages to the people who are willing to start up new companies in the US, thereby helping US by creating new jobs and reducing the unemployment. Investment received from foreign entrepreneurs will certainly help US economy to flourish. Such Entrepreneurs will be getting many visa options so that they can work in the United States.
Change 3: Making travel easier for Pending Green Card Holders
There is always this fear for people who have applied to Green Card that if they go out of US, they won’t be allowed to enter again as they don’t have a valid visa for entry. To help people out with this situation the reform states to give temporary statuses like Advance Parole which would help people to travel out of the US and enter back without any problems. Currently such statuses are giving to only few people, but the reform would extend such privileges to other people as well.
Change 4: H-4 Visa Holders Employments
An H-4 visa is a visa issued by the (USCIS) to immediate family members (spouse and children under 21 years of age) of the H1-B Visa holders. Previously there was no standard rule as to whether a person on H-4 Visa would be allowed to work in the United States. This will be the first reform that will be passed followed by many, which will allow the employment options for the H-4 Visa holders in the USA.
Change 5: L-1B Visa Structuring
L-1B Visa refers to persons having specialized knowledge. The visa is generally used by Companies who wish to bring their employees from other countries to t he United States since they have specialized knowledge in a particular field and they wish to use this knowledge in USA for their projects etc. Currently their is no specified definition as to what specialized knowledge is and many companies L-1B visa petition have been rejected. So the reform would structure the L-1B Visa by defining what is considered to be a Specialized Knowledge.
Change 6: Green Card Petitions Processing
There has always been a long waiting period for people who have applied for the Green Card. There is no appropriate system that gives you the correct information about the statuses especially the Visa Bulletin System. The reform states that it will modernize this system and will issue Green cards for candidates that are eligible and review the current policy. The goal of this reform is avoid the long waiting time for the Green Card. The reform will also clarify the problems like ‘Same or Similar Jobs’ due to which many employees refrain from switching jobs or taking promotions.
Video Regarding this Reform:
I believe this post covered most of the points of the reform. If you have any suggestions, pleas use the comment box below.