24-Month STEM OPT Extension

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.

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Dilip Oak’s Academy – Roommate Finder for the Fall 2016 Semester

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.

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Fall 2015 Pre-departure Orientation

PreDep Orientation Fall 15 DarkMake Your Journey to Your American University Smooth and Hassle-Free

So, you cracked the GRE and TOEFL exams and secured your coveted admit. Perhaps you even cleared the dreaded visa interview. Congratulations! But are you really ready to go? Not quite. One thing remains to be done – you and your parents have to attend Dilip Oak’s Academy’s Pre-departure Orientation for Fall 2014. Here’s why.

What is the Pre-Departure Orientation (and What’s It For)?

If you are joining an American university in fall 2015 and want to make travelling there (and the process of settling in) an organized, tension-free process, then Dilip Oak’s Academy’s Pre-Departure Orientation is a must for you and your parents. There are several matters that you have to think through and preparations you and your parents have to make before you can begin your education in America. The orientation will explain them all. For example:

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GRE Score Reports: Things You Should Know

Score Card

The first thing you should know: take your GRE about 1 ½ to 2 months before your earliest important deadline. It is going to take approximately that much time for your score reports to reach the universities you have chosen as score recipients (i.e. the universities you chose to send your score reports to). Here’s what the ETS says:

Getting Your GRE ScoresAbout 15 days to a month after your test, you will be able to view online and print out, for your own records, your score report in the PDF format shown below:

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Dilip Oak’s Academy – Roommate Finder for the Spring 2015 Semester

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 spring 2015 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.

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Obama to Announce Immigration Reform: Will it Affect Students Who have Done an ‘MS in US’?

Tomorrow morning (Indian Standard Time, and 8.00 p.m., Thursday evening Eastern Time) President Obama will announce executive action on immigration reform. Though this announcement is mostly going to affect illegal immigrants in the United States, there may also be implications for Indian students who have graduated with a master’s (MS) or doctoral (PhD) degree from American universities. They belong to the pool of highly skilled labor that American businesses need, so there is some anticipation of a positive fall out for them from this announcement. More specifically, the Indian student community in America will be waiting to hear whether the measures Obama announces will help make getting green cards and work permits easier and whether there will be an opening up on the H-1B visa quota front. Will they? Won’t they? It could mean dreams come true or anti-climaxes. Keep watching this space we’ll let you know.

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Great FREE Application Tools on DOA Online: Part 3 – Question & Answer Forum

Question & Answer Forum

Question & Answer Forum

- What are transcripts?
– When should I register for the GRE test?
– Where can I find university deadlines?
– From whom do I need to take recommendation letters?

The list of questions that come up when you are applying to American universities is endless. Most probably you won’t know where to look for solutions or, whom to ask for the answers. That’s where the next of our great free application tools comes in – the DOA ONLINE Q&A FORUM.

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Great FREE Application Tools on DOA Online: Part 2 – University Checklists Feature

Our first post in this series on the free application tools available on online.dilipoakacademy.com was on the University Info feature. This is a great tool that simplifies the admission process for you by making available one website key facts about the top 220 universities – most importantly, the departments and courses available there. One of the other important things that the University Info feature makes available, however, is a standard university checklist.

What are University Checklists and Where Can I Get Them?

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Great FREE Application Tools on DOA Online: Part 1 – the University Info Feature

Is the Admission Process Becoming a Hassle?

If you have been struggling with the complexities of getting admission to an American university, then you need to know about the great FREE tools available on our online‘ site. They are great for two reasons. First, they will simplify the process of applying to American universities for you. Second, they are free.

There’s no payment and there are no obligations even for students who haven’t enrolled for admissions counseling at Dilip Oak’s Academy. To use them, all you have to do is sign up and start using them. So, tell all your friends about them so they can benefit from them too! This week we will begin with the University Info feature.

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Green Card: Proposed Merit System, a Boon for Indians Studying in American Universities

One of the most greatly desired documents for Indians in America are the permanent residency permits known as green cards. Till now the process of getting one has been long, difficult and chancy. “The process is a nightmare,” said Anju Singh, a researcher with the National Institutes of Health, who was born in India and studied and worked in the U.S. for nearly a decade before she pursued the coveted green card. But, if Republican lawmakers have their way, that is about to change.

This is good news for all those in the long wait for the magic card – and it is especially good news for Indian students who have graduated (or are going to graduate) from American universities. Until 2013, green cards were allotted through a lottery system to 50,000 randomly selected applicants. The problem that Republican lawmakers had with the lottery system was that it did not distinguish between skilled and unskilled immigrants. They hope therefore, to replace it by a merit system in 2017. The new points system that they propose awards points largely according to applicants’ qualifications and so, it is designed to favor highly skilled applicants – which means that it will be an advantage for the hundreds of Indian students who graduate from American universities every year. So, if you are one of the many Indian faces on a US university campus, once the law goes through, you may not need to persuade an American employer to sponsor you for a green card. There is a strong chance that you will be able to get one on your own merit. Here’s how the proposed system will work. In the new system, an immigrant applicant can get a theoretical maximum of 100 points on the basis of the following ten criteria.

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