Getting a visa after graduation a tough task
Posted April 11, 2011 at 11:59 pm in News
USCâs quest to become a global institution has brought many students from around the world to Los Angeles, despite not being guaranteed a continued visa following graduation. Many hope that they will be able Â to remain in the United States after graduation.
Sarah Bang, an international student adviser, said it is common for students to spend some time in the United States after graduation, although some go back to their home country to pursue other endeavors.
âAlthough many F-1 international students may prefer to remain in the U.S. temporarily to work in their field of study, not all choose to do so,â Bang wrote in an email.
F-1 students are those with non-immigrant visas that allow them to study in the United States, but do not allow for continued residence in the country after graduation.
The Optional Practical Training program allows F-1 international students to remain in the United States and gain work experience in their field of study for up to one year. The application for an OPT can take 3-4 months.
Bang said there was a 14.43-percent increase from fall 2009 to fall 2010 in F-1 students who are on Optional Practical Training, but it is unclear if this increase is the result of Â the increase in number of international students or an actual trend.
Jocelyn Chan, a freshman majoring in English who is interested in pursuing a career in the music industry, said if she could find a job and get a work visa, she would like to stay in Los Angeles for some time before going back to her native home of Hong Kong.
âThe advantage of staying here is access to the most advanced music industry in the world,â Chan said. âI could use what I learn here to develop the industry back there.â
Alexander Silkin, a sophomore majoring in computer science, was born in Russia, but has also lived in China and Hong Kong. He said he hopes to stay in the United States to work in the video game industry, but knows acquiring a visa will be difficult.
To get a visa, international students usually get a job with an employer willing to sponsor them, but this has become especially difficult in the current economy.
Silkin said USC has been helpful through the process.
âUSC provides career services, which aid you and job searches,â Silkin said. âUSC provides you the basic tools and the education, but you have to take that somewhere.â
Bang said USC does offer aid to students who decide to stay in the country through the USC Career Planning & Placement Center, which offers guidance on job search processes in the United States, and the Office of International Students, which partners with CPPC to offer workshops a few times a semester, Bang wrote.
Zoltan Povazsay, a senior majoring in business and originally from Hungary, said he would like to stay here if he can get a visa or green card. He said being here for college has made the area his home.
âI feel like Iâve been here for the best five years,â Povazsay said. âI like my home country too, but I feel like the opportunities here are a lot better.â