Legislation for New Merit Based Immigration System Announced

On 2nd August, President Trump announced that he is backing a new legislation for an immigration reform (Reforming American Immigration for a Strong Economy Act, or the RAISE Act) for foreign individuals who apply for legal permanent status, or green cards, through their employer.

This is going to be immensely beneficial for Indian students in America in the long term. The legislation backs a merit based system which gives preferences to highly skilled individuals for immigration. The application process will favor applicants who can speak English, financially support themselves and their families, and demonstrate skills that will contribute to the U.S economy.

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Great News (12 + 24 = 36 Months) STEM OPT Rule Survives!

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.

STEM-OPTOPT 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.

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3 Solid Reasons why recent changes to H1B Visa program will help Indian students in America get more Jobs!

H1B visa

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

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The Art and Science of Drafting your Statement of Purpose

Drafting your Statement of Purpose should be considered to be, essentially, a communication exercise, which you ought to take very seriously. Why do we say this? Well, for two reasons: first, going forward, there will be many such situations in which you may have to interact with others by means of the written word. And second, subject-matter knowledge is not enough. You would need to find an effective way to communicate your message so as to evoke the desired response from its target reader(s).

Below are a few tips to draft a decent SoP:

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American Dream – Bringing it to Reality (Part III)

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.

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American Dream – Bringing it to Reality (Part II)

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.

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American Dream – Bringing it to Reality (Part I)

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.

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Why does the recently re-introduced H1B visa bill seem to be in favor of the Indian Students in USA?

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:

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