10 Visa Options in the U.S After Graduation for Chinese Students

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10 Visa Options in the U.S After Graduation for Chinese Students    

It is graduation period once again, and the dreams of many students with the desire to live and work in the U.S hang in the balance courtesy of the risk posed by expired visas. For Chinese students and international students in general, it is imperative to be proactive and take advantage of available visa opportunities to extend the period of stay. Below are 10 visa options for those interested in living in America after graduation.

The Green Card

A green card should be the ultimate goal for Chinese graduates who want to ply their trade locally. It grants one the opportunity to live and work in the country and after a stipulated period of either 3 or 5 years, it is possible to apply for U.S citizenship.

Green card allocation is lottery-based, and there are 50,000 slots yearly. It is advisable for foreigners to start applying immediately to increase chances of securing a spot by stretching the timeline.

F-1 Visa

The F-1 visa is the standard permit for international students. After graduation, all F-1 visa holders have a grace period of 3 months to put their affairs in order and find an alternative visa option to extend their stay.

Optional Practical Training F-1 Visa Extension

Optional Practical Training, otherwise abbreviated as OPT, avails an additional 12 months for an international graduate to stay in the U.S. The premise under which one can be awarded this extension is pegged on finding an internship, or short-term employment in a willing firm. The time limit for finding such an opportunity is, therefore, 3 months after graduation.

Optional Practical Training F-1 Visa Extension for STEM Graduates

Chinese and international students awarded degrees in scientific, technological, engineering or mathematical (STEM) disciplines can get a 29-month visa extension from graduation day if they secure an internship or short employment opportunity – preferably contractual. This extension should ideally be enough to figure out another way to extend one’s stay such as a green card or another visa.

The H-3 Visa

The H3 visa is for those who intend to learn relevant skills in the U.S and take them back home to make a difference. As an international Chinese student in the U.S, to take advantage of the same, one has to find a training opportunity in an industry unrelated to the university course undertaken.

The validity of this visa is a mere 2 years which means an individual should continually work at getting a green card during the said period to be on the safe side.

The R-1 Visa

The R-1 visa is a specialty visa that is reserved for clerical personnel intending to work in the country. It is a viable option for Chinese students who have been awarded degrees in various religious-based courses.

Prerequisites for qualification include 2-year provable practice of that particular religion before the application commencement date. Validity is set at 3 years with the possibility of 2-year extensions.

The H-1B Visa

Probably the most renowned, the H1-B visa grants one the permission to work in the country under a sponsoring company. The primary acquisition challenge for Chinese graduates is finding a company that will sponsor them and solidify their chances of getting this Visa.

Besides the requisite of a sponsoring company, it is also a requirement for there to be an apparent correlation between the job undertaken and the degree awarded. H1-B visa validity stands at 3 years with possibility for an additional 3 years.

The E-1 Visa

The E-1 Visa falls under the treaty-trader category. To actualize this permit, the primary requirement is that one must facilitate an owned company to conduct over 51% of its trading activities between the U.S and the home country. It is ideal for Chinese students with a penchant for import based entrepreneurship. Validity stands at 5 years with the possibility of 2-year extensions.

The E-2 Visa

The E-2 visa is similar to the E-1 only that it requires one to make a significant investment in the U.S in a new or already existing company. It also attracts 5-year validity with the possibility for 2 year incremental extensions. It is, therefore, a sound option for established graduates with a sizeable capital kitty.

The L-1 Visa

The L-1 is intended for foreign companies with offices in the U.S with the intention of transferring labor for specified tasks. It is meant for business executives, managers, or staff with specialized know-how.

It is possible for a Chinese student to take advantage of the same by securing employment in a Chinese company based at home with offices in the U.S. Validity is either 7 or 5 years, and that is enough time for one to acquire a green card.

With America hosting the highest number of international students in the world, it is prudent for fresh graduates to adopt a proactive mindset so as to secure the chance of pursuing their “American dreams.” It is advisable to identify and pursue visa extension avenues which are aplenty long before graduation day to be on the safe side.