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International students face uncertain future under Trump's reform of H1-B visa process

US President Donald Trump laughs while hosting a CEO town hall on the American business climate at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building in Washington, US, April 4, 2017. Photograph: (Reuters)

Reuters Long Beach, CA, United States Apr 20, 2017, 04.34 AM (IST)

International students pursuing post graduate degrees in the sciences and engineering are expressing grave concerns after President Trump signed an executive order on Tuesday seeking a review of the US visa program for bringing high-skilled foreign workers into the country, putting technology firms and the outsourcing companies that serve them on notice that possible changes may be ahead.

At California State University - Long Beach, 20 miles south of Los Angeles, there are approximately 2700 international students from about 100 countries, many looking to work in the high-tech industry upon graduation.

Mayank Kasturia, a student from New Delhi, India who is expected to graduate with a degree in computer science in May said, "One of the companies I talked to say, are you looking for any sponsorship and the moment I said yes, they said we are not providing any sponsorship. So please do try some other company which will provide you with sponsorship".

Kasturia, who also holds a part time job as an engineer with the campus radio station, is heartbroken that his American dream may soon end.

"It's hard. Your heart like can't believe, like not ready to believe this is going to happen. This is happening with me. So it is hard to believe and everyone is following their dream and if there is something interrupting that dream that's hard for everyone," says Kasturia.

Traditionally, an international student with an advanced degree in science or engineering needs to get sponsorship and an H-1B visa from an American company in order to work and live in the US The executive order is aiming to change that. Following up his campaign promises, Trump wants the jobs to go to the US citizens or permanent residents.


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