Now is the time to Study Abroad
The number of GRE test takers in India in 2012 was about 53,000 while the number in 2013 sky-rocketed to more than 90,000 – an increase of over 70%, according to the Educational Testing Service (ETS).
Also, the number of first-time enrolments of international graduate students in US graduate schools saw an increase of 10% from 2012 to 2013, and the number of first-time enrolments of Indian students increased by a whopping 40% during the same period, suggesting that Indian students formed the majority of the increase in overall international graduate enrolments in the US. It is interesting to note that the number of first-time enrolments of Indian students in 2012 increased by 1% over 2011 and in 2011 increased by 2%, according to the Council of Graduate Studies.
The above trends tend to be counter-intuitive to the fact that the depreciation of the Indian Rupee against the US Dollar should discourage students from going abroad, especially to the US. However, as we have seen the facts suggest otherwise! More students have been going to the US for higher education suggesting that the US is still a very sought after place by Indian students and the number of students exploring such opportunities has only been increasing manifold!
The tough job market in India is only suggestive that the Return on Investment (ROI) for a Master's degree or above is higher in the US. Also, the flexibility of choosing a program of study, opportunities that open up for curriculum practical training etc. are attracting Indian students to write the GRE® Test and apply to graduate programs.
The Biggest Boon: The United States is in the process of a major immigration reform. The S.744 of the Immigration Bill has been passed by the Senate and the Title IV of S.744 specifically addresses the changes that would revolutionize immigration for high skilled foreign nationals and how Indians see this as a world of opportunity.
1. F-1 Student Dual Intent: As per this provision, foreign students can give a “dual intent” for temporary stay (study) and permanent stay (work) during the Visa process and an employer can start the green card process while the student is still in school or is working during the Optional Practical Training.
2. H-1B cap increase: The cap on the H-1B visas would be increased to at least 115,000 from the current 65,000. The cap could go as high as 180,000 depending on the markets requirements.
3. Green Card: Exempts all PHDs, all advanced STEM degree holders from annual cap.
This could mean that graduates from specifically STEM programs can move straight to a green card process avoiding the H-1B route.
This is soon to be a reality and Indian students have identified how big a boon this would become in the near future.
NOW is the time!