US official allays fears over H-1B visas

US official allays fears over H-1B visas

US official allays fears over H-1B visas

A senior official of the US Consulate General, Chennai, has brushed aside the concerns over the passage of Grassley-Durbin bill in the US which will put restrictions on companies to hire employees with H-1B visas, thus affecting the Indian IT industry.

“It is premature to talk about the bill. There are many other bills yet to be passed and it is a hypothetical situation as of now,” said Charles E Luoma-Overstreet, Chief of the Consular Section, US Consulate General, Chennai. He was speaking at a discussion on the topic “Study in the US” in the City on Thursday.

According to the Open Doors Report on International Education Exchange (an official record of students studying in the US) that was released a few days ago, the number of Indian students going to the US is at an all-time high.

From 1.02 lakh students in 2013-14 the number of students went up to 1.32 lakhs in 2014-15, a jump of 29.4 per cent. This is the highest ever number in the history of the Open Doors report.

Commenting on the reason for this growth, Charles said that it was not only due to the fact that there were a number of top notch and Ivy League institutions that attracted students, but also a number of other good options that provided a “value for money”.

Rohan Nandkumar, a class 12 student who wants to study computer engineering for his undergraduate studies, has already made a selection of a number of US institutions, other than Ivy League colleges:

“I am looking at institutions such as Texas A&M University-Kingsville, University of California, San Diego and Davis to name a few. The overall cost would be anywhere around Rs 28 lakh per annum compared to around Rs 50 lakh in Ivy League colleges,” he said.

Swetha Muthanna, director, Yashna Trust, an EducationUSA Center, said that the reason for more students going to US was due to the fact that Bengaluru was becoming more of a “globalised city” with many sobriquets such a the IT capital and Start-up City.