Visas, Being Everywhere One Wants To Be, Etc.
Written by Bwog Staff
CORRECTION, 9:30 PM: International students with Bachelor’s degrees have, in fact, twelve months (but only 12 months!) after graduation under the F-1 visa’s Optional Practical Training (OPT) . For more information, see here. Bwog staff would also like to note that one of our sources, i.e. The Daily Princetonian, made no note of this either. So there.
For a bunch of international seniors who want to work in the U.S. after graduation, it’s “better luck next year.” The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) released an announcement Tuesday stating that it has reached enough H-1B petitions to meet the congressionally-mandated cap for the 2008 fiscal year.
The H-1B visa specifically allows non-immigrants to work for U.S. companies or attend U.S. universities for three years at a time (with a max of 6 years). The catch: you need the equivalent to an American Bachelor’s Degree to apply. Given that most international seniors this year won’t have their diplomas until May, they’ll have to wait until next year to obtain their visas. The cap for H-1B visa petitions — 65,000 — was reached on the same day that USCIS began accepting them, two months sooner than the time it took to reach the cap last year. The year 2007 also marks the fourth year in a row that the cap has been met in fewer than 12 months.
Getting a H-1B is survival of the swiftest, although this year’s competition has been considerably stiffer. Check out reports by The Daily Princetonian and The Daily Texan. Bill Gates has also spoken against the H-1B cap, even having suggested that it be eliminated altogether (you can actually see him speak about it at a Senate hearing here), and Microsoft has reportedly been trying to work things out with Congress itself on the matter. Congress is expected to hold hearings to raise the cap this year.
In the meantime, the best we can do is give ’08 internationals a suggestion: if you really want to stick around and work in this nutso nation, get your act together. This is one assignment you won’t get an extension on.
Tags: international students