International students are founding America’s most exciting and innovative startups. Unfortunately, Trump’s anti-immigrant agenda may be hurting such entrepreneurship.
How do international students contribute to the U.S. economy?
According to a recent study, nearly one in four U.S. billion-dollar startups had a founder who first came to the U.S. as an international student. On average, these entrepreneurs have created more than 1,400 jobs per enterprise, and the collective value of their companies is an astounding $96 billion.
Amongst the most accomplished of these former international students are: Elon Musk (University of Pennsylvania) of SpaceX, Adam Neumann (CUNY) of WeWork, Noubar Afeyan (MIT) of Moderna (MIT), and Tianyue Yu (Cornell) and Louay Eldada (Columbia) of Quanergy Systems.
Bright international students took advantage of Optional Practical Training (OPT) programs allowing them to stay and work for a time in the U.S. after graduation. Many will then take the next step and apply for the H-1B visa to remain in the country.
How is the Trump administration shutting out international students?
Several Trump policies have alarmed U.S. universities. Amid the Trade War with China, the administration went as far as to consider banning all Chinese citizens to study in the U.S. The government backed down but not by much. It enacted new restrictions on Chinese students in certain fields and announced a policy proposal to establish a maximum period of authorized stay for F-1 students.
Furthermore, the administration also plans to restrict or do away with OPT altogether. It may also cut the additional 24-month work authorization for international students in science, technology, engineering and math fields. On top of all, Trump’s H-1B visa crackdown has resulted in a dramatic increase in the number of application denials and delays.
If you are studying in the U.S. and wish to continue working here after you graduate, contact us today. Explore all your immigration options with our team of legal experts – we will guide you through every step of the process, so you can focus on your American Dream.