The Optional Practical Training (OPT) program has been the lifeline for many international students who go to USA for higher studies. If you aren’t aware of what OPT is and how it works, read this earlier post -> Optional Practical Training OPT on F1 Visa in USA
However, if Senator Grassley has his way, the optional practical training rules and regulations are in for a major overhaul, including an ‘immediate moratorium‘ for being ‘at risk for fraud and non-compliance‘ and ‘vulnurable to abuse‘. Vinay Paramanand, shares a report on this development that could impact thousands of international students studying (or planning to study) in USA.
For all you out there dreaming of a top MBA degree and getting access to the post graduate jobs in USA, we have some news for you.
There is buzz that the practice of granting Optional Practical Training (OPT) to the F1 visa students is going to get tougher and needs “looking into” (or that is what they mean when they say it needs a “major overhaul”)
Now one may wonder what happened. Well, to start with, a one Mr. Charles Grassley, (a Senator) has expressed displeasure over how the F1 visa students are tracked and how the “foreign students” remain elusive (literally).
In his letter to the US Department of Homeland Security (for simplicity, let’s assume this as the US Government) he says:
The whole text or letter by Mr. Charles Grassley can be found here. (You can ignore the excessive use of legal jargon in the letter and yet get the essence of what Grassley is trying to convey)
Time to re-evaluate your priorities, become more aware of your future goals and all the hurdles that may come in the way. And yes all that is mentioned above applies to the MBA fraternity as well.
Let us try and understand what it means to International students especially for a nation like India obsessed with American degrees.
On the other hand countries such as Canada are generous in Work Permit Programs (WPP). Usually for a 1 year MBA program a student is able to get a 1 year work permit and if you have a 2 year MBA degree then you are eligible for a 3 year Work permit, even if you have no employee sponsorship. Now that is something. In Europe the situation varies from country to country. So it would be advisable to contact your future MBA College for work permit related queries especially for a European college.
While the international student community waits for more clarity on this topic, you can take steps to reduce the impact of the OPT status change on your post graduate career. If you are planning for an American masters degree, try to extract the most out of the internship opportunity. Read this post –> How to convert summer internships into full-time jobs.
Most of the other (non-US) countries offering Masters programs don’t have an OPT visa or equivalent. But students do well for themselves after completing their graduation.
Plan well, be aware of all the other challenges (several listed in Beyond The MBA Hype) that you may have to encounter, have a back-up in place and life will go on.
Read these related articles:
– Optional Practical Training OPT on F1 Visa in USA
– CPT vs OPT: Differences for international students in USA