US government weighs suspending OPT and H1-B

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https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/immigration/trum… – NBC coverage

https://www.politico.com/f/?id=00000171-ee64-dae7… – Senators' petition

Looks like up next on the chopping block for the administration is H1-B and OPT. Obviously none of us know exactly what this means for foreigns currently on those programs, including those already working and those starting FT in the coming months.

Wanted to open this up to a greater discussion about the viability of pursuing a career in the United States. I personally am strongly weighing asking for an internal transfer – possibly permanently – to London / my country of origin.

Comments (63)

 
May 17, 2020 - 4:44am

I opened a thread about this earlier: https://www.wallstreetoasis.com/forums/congress-suggests-suspension-of-…
No problem to have two though.

I think they will do it, which would effectively end immigration from abroad for college. Who in their right mind would pay, study in the US and leave without the potential benefit of staying?

I find it weird that EB5 is also being stopped, which has nothing to do with any of this. They are creating jobs for US citizens.

 
  • Intern in S&T - Other
May 17, 2020 - 5:04am

Outside of H1B/OPT, what are everyone's thoughts on the effect of WFH on immigration in general? I understand that the job hasn't changed fundamentally, but it feels odd to me about "bringing this person in from London to work in their NYC apartment" or anything like that.

 
  • Summer Associate in IB - Ind
May 17, 2020 - 5:23am

I don't think they will permanently get rid of OPT/H1B. In my opinion, they will suspend it for a couple of months so Trump can get his polling numbers up before November. Shitty situation for all internationals in the US.

 
May 17, 2020 - 6:09pm

We will have the information when the proposal gets ratified and subsequently announced. Or it won't happen and that's it.
Or, there might be changes, like length of suspension inclusion/exclusion of visa types (ie EB5) and more.
Unfortunately we can not do anything but wait.

I highly suspect that temporary visa applicants are easy prey for this proposal - they typically don't have any rights or special sponsors (like a spouse or family members) and in the eyes of the average person students are "very temporary" anyway. When you get a student visa issued there is no guarantee for permanent residency - in ANY country. The previous cases were just extremely lucky to go through H1b and GC. This will most likely change now.
I don't see logic to suspend permanent immigrant applicants (spouses of USCs, family sponsored visas and employer sponsored gcs) but not non-perm, it would make no sense.

What does incoming FT analyst even mean? you won the H1b lottery a few weeks ago? You will apply next year? You are on OPT or will be on OPT and then want H1b and then the GC?

If you already have your EAD issued, I wouldn't worry too much. For anyone else - good luck!

 
May 17, 2020 - 6:05am

There is a difference between new/existing in their proposal. I haven't read the fine print yet, but will catch up on it.

Yes, it is a bit weird to bring in some Indian guy when there are millions and millions of US citizens unemployed. The proposal mentions that this is a temporary measure, but also depends on domestic employment figures. This can take a while.

If someone is international, now is the time to look for options outside of the US.

 
Funniest
  • Prospect in Other
May 17, 2020 - 11:42am

Wow. For such an anti-immigrant administration, you’d think they would be against immigrant whore wives. Guess Melania doesn’t count..

Array
 
  • Intern in IB - Gen
May 17, 2020 - 4:18pm

The new era of Trump republicans don't stand for anything. I'm talking about ones that oppose abortion for others but have publicly stated using it themselves.

Array
 
May 20, 2020 - 9:57pm

This - I mean come on don't immigration hardliners realize that atleast part of Silicon Valley's unprecedented growth in the past 20 years have come because of high skilled tech immigration?

Most people on WSO are center left or right though, and do support skilled immigration. It's mostly kids who didn't get offers that whine and complain that it was stolen from them because of a kid from India or China. Give me a break - you probably didn't deserve an offer then.

 
May 20, 2020 - 10:25pm

This administration talks a big game about fighting China, but it has no freaking idea how to do it nor it gives a shit.

It's all just a show to get re-elected and feel powerful.

If the this administration really wanted to punch China in the face, it would be offering qualified Chinese students more opportunities. Most Chinese who are studying or studied in the US want to stay here. Once you go freedom, you never go back.

Financial Data Science
 
May 20, 2020 - 11:29pm

Oh absolutely. Most of these Chinese students are either engineering or business school kids. And they all wanna work in tech, finance, or consulting. Chinese firms don't stand a chance in terms of the corporate culture and working conditions. Even if the pay is similar, Chinese people still want to come over to the US if they can.

I know someone whose parents are sort of middle mgmt CCP members and according to her they all wanna come to the US. To prevent this brain drain, the Chinese government has been putting lots of rules for Chinese nationals working in the US for Chinese companies. They get closely monitored as well.

Xi's China knows how freedom changes people. And Xi's China is afraid of it. There are so many ways to exploit this...

Financial Data Science
 
May 21, 2020 - 6:46pm

Well even then, it's like setting the entire forest on fire just to hunt some deer. It's an over-reaction and will probably backfire.

The US is (and has been for quite some time) already educating sooo many Chinese students. 70+% of my engineering and math classes were filled with Chinese grad students. The same is true in almost all major universities in the US and in other countries. I'm sure that corporate spies are only a small minority and the reason why there are lots of cases is because there are lots of Chinese people to start with.

IMO, not hiring them away from Chinese companies after educating them is doing a lot more harm. Where will all that intellectual capital go if the US doesn't hire them? Back to China.

Much better to restrict future student visas issuing and renewals so they can't study here in the first place. If we can't stop educating them, then why not hire away? China can copy all they like but they won't have much luck innovating themselves if all the smart ones work in the US....

Financial Data Science
 
May 21, 2020 - 7:01pm

1 more thing. The US is already "unintentionally" brain draining from India. All the top Indian IIT graduates want to come here for grad school and/or get some fancy tech job. Hell, almost a third of software engineers in FAANG-level companies are Indian and they STAY. Their kids become our frat bros, 'exotic' girlfriends, and typical Indian nerds from Edison, NJ who will end up becoming doctors or do something weird at Stanford. Occasionally you get some finance bros and consulting kids "who didn't want to be code monkeys like their parents or doctors like their parents wanted them to".

One big reason India can retain some amount of intellectual capital is the quota the US puts on each country for H1-B. This quota is a fixed number that doesn't depend on the number of applicants per country. Say this quota is 500 per country each year - If 1 million Indians and 1000 Czechs filed for H1-B then you'd get 500 Indians and 500 Czechs who actually get H1-Bs.

I'm telling you, the US is almost allowing China to retain its intellectual capital.

Financial Data Science
 
  • Analyst 3+ in IB-M&A
May 21, 2020 - 3:44pm

sorry

you're fired

What concert costs 45 cents? 50 Cent feat. Nickelback.
 
Controversial
May 21, 2020 - 4:15pm

We have 36 million newly unemployed persons + a pandemic that is exacerbated by international travel. It seems like a perfectly rational short-term policy to suspend legal immigration, particularly for employment reasons. Not sure how that is in any form controversial. An elected government serves citizens, not foreign nationals.

Array
 
May 21, 2020 - 10:14pm

Except that most of the newly unemployed were previously holding low-income jobs.

OPT and H1-B's are for higher income specialized white-collar jobs. Think engineers, consultants, business analysts, etc...

This is also directly against what Trump's been saying about immigration - "high income and skilled immigrants are okay but low-skilled and illegals are unwelcome"...

Kinda makes me think this is all show and no real thought was put into this action...

Financial Data Science
 
May 21, 2020 - 10:28pm

Milton Friedchickenman:

Except that most of the newly unemployed were previously holding low-income jobs.

OPT and H1-B's are for higher income specialized white-collar jobs. Think engineers, consultants, business analysts, etc...

This is also directly against what Trump's been saying about immigration - "high income and skilled immigrants are okay but low-skilled and illegals are unwelcome"...

Kinda makes me think this is all show and no real thought was put into this action...

I'm going to go out on a limb and say that of the 36 million newly unemployed, at least(?) 500,000 (or about 8-10 times the annual allotment of H-1Bs) are of higher skilled labor. The annual H-1B allotment is ~65,000, so I assume 65,000 skilled Americans are among the 36 million newly unemployed.

Array
 
May 21, 2020 - 6:51pm

The goal of Trump's immigration policy (largely run by Stephen Miller) is pretty simple: end all non-white immigration into the United States, legal or illegal. To that end, I'm not the least bit surprised at this development.

Array
 
  • Prospect in IB-M&A
May 22, 2020 - 3:44am

I’m white, in the US on H1B, and I’m getting screwed all the same mate. Trump wants to end immigration for everyone period. Not because it makes sense, but because playing on his electorate’s xenophobia is his only shot at getting re-elected after that disaster of a first term.

 
May 22, 2020 - 7:36am

Prospect in IB-M&A:

I’m white, in the US on H1B, and I’m getting screwed all the same mate. Trump wants to end immigration for everyone period. Not because it makes sense, but because playing on his electorate’s xenophobia is his only shot at getting re-elected after that disaster of a first term.

You're just collateral damage, not the target. I hope things go your way re: maintaining your Visa, good luck.

Array
 
May 22, 2020 - 3:12pm

Imagine telling your fellow citizens: ''Yeah you lost a job because people travelled from Wuhan China here, but don't worry, we'll allow in even more people from other places to compete for your non-existing jobs because they accept lower pay''.

Ohohoho.

 
May 23, 2020 - 12:11pm

Milton Friedchickenman:

Imagine telling your citizens that "We could have easily contained this virus from Wuhan, China. But we twiddled and sucked on our thumbs for months so you can lose your jobs".

Okay then. If it's so easy, find me exactly where you called for the right measures to contain coronavirus on this forum in December.

 
  • Business School in IB - Gen
May 25, 2020 - 9:19am

So here's my question: I'm a Canadian heading into my MBA this fall at an M7 target school, intending to recruit for IB. If OPT is cancelled, would I be able to leverage the TN visa in order to recruit for US banks in their NYC office?

I'm aware that I would have to show assets/ties to Canada, and am ok with that. I'm also a CPA, which is one of the few designations accepted under TN. The possibility of no OPT really has me (along with fellow internationals in the my incoming class) worried, so trying to gauge my options here.

 
  • Business School in IB - Gen
May 25, 2020 - 11:21am
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