With the latest news about change in guidelines and recession still prevailing mildly, it is very tough for F1 Students who planned to graduate and get H1B visa. This article will focus on what are the best options to purse if you are F1 Student and why I think they are good with reasons. Explains the options for Employment after graduation or during final semester.
New H1B visa guidelines impact for F1 Students pursuing IT Consulting career :
Recently USICS released a memorandum with new set of guidelines for filing H1B visa. With the new set of guidelines, it is going to be very hard for F1 students who wish to pursue a career in IT Consulting. Essentially, the options for applying for H1B visa petition for F1 students are very limited. You cannot go to a small IT body shop kind of company and file your H1B visa. If you are a F1 Student and wish to apply for H1B visa for 2011 through an IT Consulting Company, you have to choose your employer very carefully. You will have to make sure the company is big enough and have on site implementations, etc. Read the guidelines and clearly stated in the memorandum of employer- employee relationship.
Recession Impact on F1 Students :
Recession has hit very hard on the job situation and not many people are ready to take a risk and sponsor visa for F1 Students. You can see the changes in Cap reach dates for H1B visas from 2004 to 2010 and see the trend explaining the impact of recession of early 2000s. With the recession many major companies have eliminated the process of hiring H1B visa workers. It is going to be tough to find a full time job in the coming days with less number of companies sponsoring H1B visas. It may not continue long, but at least for now and may be next year, they might stick to their policies of not hiring H1B visa holders.
Options for F1 Students still in School :
If you are a student planning to graduate this year, if you have a possibility to delay your graduation, it is recommended to delay the graduation. May be take one extra class and keep the degree running. Meantime, you can focus on searching for Jobs. You can basically buying time. Your best bet is to focus on Internships and smaller companies. Smaller companies have higher retention rates than big giants in recession. If you have not used CPT, you should apply for CPT and start looking for internships seriously. If you do not have a choice, then read below on what you can do on OPT.
Options if you just graduated and in OPT :
There are couple of things you can do, first you should look for a full time employment and second you should look for an internship in your area of study. I assume you know that the OPT can be extended for 17 months after an year. If you do not know, read this article on new OPT extension rules and extension up to 29 months. In recession, many companies like to hire interns and coops. Why ? simple logic, they do not need to give you any benefits. So, there is high demand for interns in recession. The advantage of you being in OPT is you can apply for all those internships available. It might be hard, but you know “there is no free lunch”. If you can secure an internship at least for the time being before an year, you are good to go for another 17 more months totaling you can be in US for 29 months. Hopefully all the recession is over by then and you can get a better job. You can always keep looking for full time job when you are working in internship too. Just make sure, with the new OPT rules, you should be able to bridge the cap gap. It might be a little hard, but you have to get creative.
What other options can you think of? Any ideas from you all ?