Optional Practical Training (OPT)
12 Months: Granted to students on F1 (student) visa status completing undergraduate (BS/BA) or graduate (MS/MBA) degrees
24 Months Extension: Students with degrees from STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics) fields
Therefore, students completing a degree from the STEM field get an OPT period of total 36 months (Regular 12 months + 24 months extension), permitting them to work in the US without H1B visa.
OPT is a temporary employment authorization that is directly related to a student’s area of study. Students pursuing their education in the US on student (F1) visa are eligible to work in the US under the F1-OPT visa program, which gives them an opportunity to apply the education obtained in an academic degree to a practical work experience.
Several news articles have been published since 3rd April 2017 discussing the new rule affecting H1B visas.
Here are 3 things Indian students aspiring to study in the US should know.
1. More Visas for Students: This rule primarily affects India’s IT outsourcing industry which is the biggest user of H-1B visas. Of the top 10 companies sponsoring H1B visas, 89% visa applications are from outsourcing IT companies. This causes an acute shortage for H1B visas on a whole, reducing chances for Indian students who are directly employed by US companies , filing for H1B. With stricter regulations in place for Indian IT companies, more opportunities will open for students with advanced degrees. In other words, more visas will be available for students
An overwhelming majority of Indian students who travel to the US for higher education belong to the Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics (STEM) category. For the annual H1B quota of 20,000 visas reserved for this category, about 30,000 applications are usually received. On the other hand, against 65,000 H1B visas allocated for non-STEM applicants, three to four times that number apply.
Therefore, an applicant for an H1B visa from the STEM category invariably stands a much better chance. That is why several students from the non-STEM category, even if they find a job in the US after graduating, have to leave for their country of origin as they fail to acquire an H1B visa. Another factor that works in favour of STEM students is that their OPT (Optional Practical Training) is valid for 36 months, which entitles them to three attempts at seeking the coveted H1B visa.
In the US education is closely associated with philanthropy. Individuals do not own universities. The famous Carnegie-Mellon University is a case in point. Its governing council may have a couple of members who belong to founders’ families but the university is essentially managed by a Trust. Grateful alumni donate generously to their alma maters.
The US Government offers generous grants to universities. Deserving students get attractive scholarships from universities. Students are provided every possible opportunity to work as teaching and research assistants and take up campus jobs to earn so they can lighten their financial burden. American culture respects the dignity of labour. Working part time at a McDonald’s outlet is not looked down upon or considered below one’s dignity.
The United States of America presents a wide range of exciting opportunities for higher education and employment to ambitious young Indians. However, this indisputable fact was not widely accepted in Pune, when I first pointed it out, way back in 1996. Punekars were mostly skeptical of it.. Actually, this was not entirely surprising. In those days, someone travelling to the USA was such a rare occurrence that it made news. However, now things have changed quite dramatically.
When I founded Dilip Oak’s Academy in 1996, only 24 students had enrolled. Eight of them went to the USA eventually. Gradually, the number grew over the years and, in 2016 alone, we sent as many as 1,500 students to a wide variety of the universities in the US. These students were not from Pune alone. Many of them hailed , but even from small cities and towns in the hinterland of Maharashtra, such as Sangli, Vita, Satara, Belgavi, Kolhapur, Amaravati and Aurangabad. Some belonged to and other states like Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Gujarat as well. Now, in 2017, we expect the number to climb to an unprecedented 1,800 at least. We have come a long way, indeed.
Are you confused as to what the latest news regarding this “ Bill introduced in the US regarding H1B work visa” is? Keep reading further to understand what all the discussion is really about.
The new bill, titled “Protect and Grow American Jobs Act,” has been re-introduced in Congress by certain republicans (this bill was already introduced in earlier years, but was never passed). It proposes key changes in the H1-B program that allows skilled workers from foreign countries to fill high-tech jobs in the US.
The bill has proposed two changes – the gist of which is as follows:
No matter how well you have been preparing for your Graduate Record Examination over a period of time, as the GRE test day comes nearer there are bound to be some jitters and anxiety. Even the most confident of students are no exceptions to these exam day blues. Here are a few tips to calm those nerves and stay confident before and through the GRE test:
- Adequate Sleep
Slogging it out the night before the examination is very common. However it does not help you on the exam day. Studies say that a well-rested brain performs better than a fatigued one. So be prepared with all the study material well in advance and avoid burning the midnight oil
Here’s our challenge for you: a cursory glance at this blog (and even this introduction!) will radically improve your vocabulary. Read it and see if it doesn’t! If you find the words challenging, take a look at the explanations below the article below. They are all from the high-frequency GRE list.
Any journey gives you a chance to take an exciting break from the soporific routine of everyday life. In fact, travelling to places and cultures very different from your own can be a visionary experience. In some cases the sights and sounds of an exotic locale can seem surreal. But going solo takes travel to a different level altogether.
The passage below has 20 high-frequency vocabulary words in it. See if you can understand their meaning from the context. If not read the meanings and sample sentences given below the passage.
When was the last time you played a game or pursued a hobby?
One can choose a hobby from a plethora of options, and explore them more or less deeply. Some try to develop their culinary skills, or attempt writing a book, or indulge in more erudite hobbies like numismatics or philately. Some set their heart on playing a musical instrument, like the guitar.