What are the prerequisites for admission to US universities?
Admission to US universities is based on four important criteria:
(1) GRE score
(2) academic record in bachelor’s degree
(3) relevant work experience
(4) co-curricular activities like paper presentations, internships and projects
How can I get financial assistance from my university?
If your academic performance in your bachelor’s course in India is outstanding and your GRE score is more than 330, then you can get financial aid at the time of admission. Otherwise, you need to perform well in the first and second semesters of your MS course so that you stand a better chance of getting a Research Assistantship (RA) or a Teaching Assistantship (TA).
What is the quota for H-1B visa/work permit in the US?
Students with an American Master’s degree in STEM category can avail of a special quota of 20,000 H-1B visas. In addition to this quota, they can also apply for the general quota comprising 65,000 H-1B visas.
Will my prior work experience in India help me secure a job in the US after completing my Masters?
Yes, it is a great advantage. It will certainly help you get a better job after MS if you have previously worked in the same field that you specialized in during your Masters.
What is CPT?
CPT stands for Curricular Practical Training which enables you to work as an intern outside the campus after completing two semesters of your course. Sometimes, universities also allow you to continue your internship in the third or the fourth semester. You can use your CPT for up to 364 days.
What is OPT?
OPT stands for Optional Practical Training. This enables students to work in the US after completing their degree. It is valid for 12 months. But if you are from the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) category, you can extend your OPT for up to 36 months.
What if I do not get an H-1B visa on my first attempt in the lottery?
Generally, the number of H-1B visa applicants is greater than the allotted quota. Hence, the US administration follows the lottery system. In this, you can apply for the H-1B visa once a year, in the month of April. In case your visa petition is not picked in the first attempt, and you are from the STEM category, you can apply for the visa again in the next two years since your OPT period is three years.
What documents will I need for getting a student visa?
Students are given the F-1 visa which is valid for five years, or until the course is completed. In order to get the visa, you have to apply to the nearest US consulate and carry the following documents at the time of interview:
(1) I-20 form
(2) Passport (3) ITR and financial documents of the sponsor