For many international students, staying in the United States after college is a tricky and difficult process.
Apart from stiff competition, students who wish to undergo internships or gain full time employment, need to have authorisations.
For those who are looking for jobs after graduation, an H-IB visa allows international workers to stay in the US for up to six years in a job related to their degree, on the condition that the employers are willing to sponsor them.
Malaysian student Leland Chow, a junior finance major at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, hopes to live in the US long term.
Chow said there are more opportunities in the States than in his home country, but the demanding process of paperwork required for graduates to get a job, make it even more challenging.
“If I want to stay here, I have to get a job first and get sponsored.
“If I don’t within 60 days, I would have to go back to Malaysia,” he said.
The US limits the number of such visas granted each year and candidates are chosen at random in an annual lottery.
Offering a total of 85,000 H-IB visas, two senators recently proposed a bill that would cut 15,000 of those spots and give preference to workers making the most money.
Meanwhile, the number of applications for H-1Bs has been rising dramatically, due to the demand for workers in technology fields.
In 2013, the US government received 124,000 applications, 172,000 in 2014 and nearly 233,000 in 2015.
This puts an individual’s chances at winning the visa lottery close to one-third.
Lincoln-based Talent Plus representative Kyle Bruss said his company has hired many employees from other countries.
“If we find that individual and it happens to be that they’re an international student, then we go ‘ok’, how are we going to do this?
“What are some of the different hurdles we have to jump?”
One of the hurdles is the cost of sponsorship, which can amount to more than $2,000, and if a company needs help from an immigration lawyer with paperwork, the costs will increase.
Although hiring international students provides a great deal of value to an organisation, many employers are in favour of the experience and skills that these students offer.
Companies with international branches also put emphasis on potential employees like Chow who are multilingual.
Article adapted from Net Nebraska