What Biden’s Win Means for Indian Students?

Never before have Indian students so keenly followed the US election frenzy as this year. And why wouldn’t they? The larger part of 2020 was plagued by uncertainties with students rushing home amidst pandemic concerns, followed by F1 visa status worries, OPT scare, etc. But there’s a resurgence of hope as Joe Biden is set to become the President of the United States.

As Obama’s successor, it is being predicted that Biden will bring huge relief to Indian students currently studying or seeking to study in the US. In his regime India-US student exchange has the scope of reaching never-seen-before highs. With Democrats’ pro-immigration approach, there could be a reversal of Trump’s restrictive visa policies. As a result of Trump’s erratic policies, student interest in pursuing higher education in US had been steadily declining from 2016 onwards, whereas that for Canada, UK and other non-US destinations had sky-rocketed. As per experts, this trend would see a complete reversal starting next year. What is being seen as another positive is that, Biden’s deputy and Vice President hopeful - Kamala Harris, is an Indian American and is also a strong proponent of college education.

In order to ‘Make America great again’, Team Biden-Harris is expected to initiate comprehensive immigration reforms that would undo the damage done by Trump’s xenophobic dictates. Not only F-1 student visas, H1-B visas or work permit are also expected to hit record highs which would benefit thousands of working professionals and Indian graduates from US universities. There has also been some news that Biden administration would do away altogether with limits on country-based employment visas.

“Biden will support expanding the number of high-skilled visas and eliminating the limits on employment-based visas by country, which create unacceptably long backlogs," according to a policy document issued by the Biden campaign. It further states that Biden will also exempt from any cap recent graduates of STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) PhD programs who are poised to make some of the most important contributions to the world economy.

Going by this the future does appear bright for Indian students who want to continue to stay and work in the US after graduating from universities there. Looks like good times are in the offing, folks!


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