Data released by the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) of the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement indicates a recent surge in the number of Indian students seeking to study in American universities. According their report, there has been a “31.9% increase in the number of Indian students studying in American universities since 2014”. This bucks a trend that goes back almost a decade: from 2008-09 to 2013-14, the number of Indian students studying at American Universities was a fairly flat 1,00,000 annually. In 2014-15, this figure jumped by around 32% to 1,32,888.
Every year U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) accepts H1B petitions starting from 1st April. As such, petitions for the fiscal year 2017 will be accepted from 1st April 2016. The current quota for H1B VISA is 65,000 under the general category and 20,000 under the advanced degree exemption – also known as the Masters quota. Thus, the total quota stands at 85,000. In the previous year, USCIS received a total of nearly 233,000 H1B petitions under both the categories put together from 1st April to 7th April and then they stopped accepting new applications. For the first time, USCIS received more than the limit of 20,000 H1B petitions under the Masters quota (the exact number of applications is not declared by USCIS). Computer generated random selection process (lottery) is conducted for Masters quota petitions which selects 20,000 applicants for the Master’s degree cap completion. The H1B petitions filed under Masters quota cap, but not selected in the first round of lottery are then added to the general quota of petitions. The lottery is then conducted for this pool to select 65,000 petitions towards the general quota cap completion. USCIS rejects and returns the remaining H1B petitions.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is amending it F1 non immigrant visa regulations on Optional Practical Training (OPT) for certain students with degrees in Science, Technology, Engineering or Mathematics (STEM) from US institutions of higher education.
OPT is a period during which undergraduates (BS/BA) and graduate students (MS/MBA) with F1 status who have completed or have been pursuing their degrees for more than 9 months are permitted by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to work for 12 months on a student visa towards getting practical training to complement their education. On April 2nd 2008 DHS announced a 17-month extension to the OPT for students in qualifying STEM fields to be eligible for the 12-month permit. Any degree in any field of studies is valid. For the 17-month OPT extension a student must have received a STEM degree as listed on the USCIS website.
So, you’ve got the admission news you were waiting for: your coveted admission for an ‘MS in US’ is confirmed. You’re scheduled to join your American university in the fall 2016 semester – and now it’s time to book airline tickets and start thinking about travel plans and accommodation.
One problem, however, is contacting senior students who are already in your desired US university, so you can arrange for a pickup and drop from the airport and some temporary accommodation. Another is finding other students who are heading to your US university, so you can choose room-mates and make joint travel plans.
It is our continued endeavour to keep you updated with the university deadlines well before the application process. As per tradition we are publishing the university deadlines for fall 2016 semester. Please bear in mind that some universities may change deadlines on their websites without prior notice. The department deadlines may differ from the graduate school deadlines, hence you are advised to cross check not only the graduate school deadlines but also the department website of the university you are applying to.
The deadlines mentioned below are for the graduate school only.
If you are applying for admission in fall 2016 the clock has begun to tick. So, don’t delay. Review this Application Timeline for Fall 2016 immediately and get to work.
Review your goals for your MS in US and choose some specific areas in which you would like to specialize.
- Begin preparation for the GRE/TOEFL tests
- Register for the GRE and TOEFL examinations – if you are targeting the top 10 or 15 universities, you should take these examinations preferably by September 2015. If you are targeting other universities, you may take these exams by 20 December 2015 so you can meet the deadlines of universities which are in December 2015.
- Register for the Subject GRE – important for doctoral programs in pure sciences and biological sciences in top schools.
Note: the exam is held once in a year in November, however, seats usually get filled up by August.
Make a preliminary list of about 30 universities which meet your requirements considering:
The month of June is now approaching which means the spring 2016 application process should now begin. As per our standard practice we are publishing university deadlines for spring 2016 semester.
Keep in mind some universities update deadlines on their websites at different times during the academic year.
The deadlines mentioned below are for the graduate school only. The department deadlines may differ from the graduate school deadlines and hence you should cross check with your respective department for confirmation.
Most of you know that preparing for the GRE test involves things like hours of practice and learning lots of words and formulae by heart. For the TOEFL, as you are aware, you have to brush up on your grammar. But you most probably never thought that preparing for these tests would involve thinking through which universities or colleges you would like to apply to. But it does, and here’s why: saving the 180 dollars referred to in the title is as simple as selecting the 4 names of universities from a drop-down list. Here’s how it works.
Congratulations! You’ve secured admission to an American university – and you’re rightly thrilled. But do you know all the formalities you have to go through in order to get there? And, even if you have thought about them a bit, do you know all the details relating to the important matters below?
• the student (F1) visa
• foreign exchange
• airport formalities (port of entry/immigration procedures)
• medical checkups & immunizations
• initial formalities in the university
• accommodation (on- & off – campus)
• financial and other formalities for the first semester of studies
It is our continued endeavour to keep you updated with the university deadlines well before the application process. As per tradition we are publishing the university deadlines for fall 2015 semester. Please bear in mind that some universities may change deadlines on their websites without prior notice. The department deadlines may differ from the graduate school deadlines, hence you are advised to cross check not only the graduate school deadlines but also the department website of the university you are applying to.