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Will Trump’s Green Card Proposed Initiative become a Boon for Indian Graduates from US Universities?

Can pursuing a graduate degree in the US entitle an Indian student to a Green Card in the near future?

The allure of quality education, enhanced career prospects, and the potential for permanent residency makes the United States a top destination for thousands of Indian students pursuing graduate studies. Since the 1960s, millions of Indian students have successfully transitioned from academia to industry in the US. However, only a privileged few have secured the coveted Green Card, essential for permanent and indefinite residency in the country.

If you aspire to stay in the US after completing your studies, there’s promising news. Republican Presidential frontrunner Donald Trump has pledged to grant automatic Green Cards to international students who graduate from US universities and colleges, should he be elected in the upcoming US presidential election. This proposal implies that, upon graduation from a US university, you would be automatically entitled to a Green Card, effectively integrating permanent residency with your academic degree.

What is an American Green Card?

A Green Card, also known as a Permanent Residency Card, grants you the permission to live and work in the United States as a lawful permanent resident for an indefinite period. In essence, it serves as an identity document confirming your permanent residency status in the US.

What are the Existing Challenges Faced by Indian Students/Professionals in Procuring a Green Card?

The Green Card is capped based on nationality, making the path to obtaining one long and arduous. To put things into perspective, more than 1.1 million Indian applicants are currently waiting for a Green Card. The application process and paperwork for obtaining legal residency status in the United States can take several years, especially if you apply through the employment-based Green Card route.

Employment-based Green Cards are the most common pathway for Indian graduates. This means that your potential employer must apply for the Green Card on your behalf through your work visa (H-1B). Given the current backlog in Green Card processing, you might end up waiting for a lifetime in anticipation of receiving one.

What are the Advantages of the Proposed Automatic Green Card for Graduates?

Under Donald Trump’s proposal, you would be able to procure a Green Card instantly upon completing your studies in the US, whether you pursue undergraduate, graduate, or doctoral programs. This integration of permanent residency with your degree is a significant shift from current immigration guidelines.

As it stands, you are not permitted to stay in the US after graduation unless you have a valid job offer. However, with a Green Card obtained through Trump’s proposed policy, you would be able to remain in the US without restrictions upon completing your studies. This proposal eliminates the need to rely on a potential employer to procure the time-consuming and lottery-based H-1B work permit. Instead, you could explore long-term career prospects with your employer, unburdened by the limited validity of the H-1B visa, which does have provisions for extensions but lacks the security of a Green Card.

Moreover, as a Green Card holder, you would have the freedom to switch employers, a flexibility not permitted under the H-1B work permit. This would allow you greater mobility and choice in shaping your career in the United States.

What You Need to Know About Trump’s Political Agenda as an ex-US president

While the Green Card initiative sounds transformative and immigration-friendly, it’s important to recognize that Donald Trump’s perspective on immigration has not always been this way. Throughout his presidency (2017-2021), Trump advocated a strong anti-immigration stance that resulted in restricting the intake of both students and skilled workers. He was particularly opposed to visa programs such as the OPT that comes with the F1 student visa and the lottery component of the H-1B visa, which enables US-based tech companies to hire skilled and talented foreign workers, especially Indian professionals in the STEM fields. In addition to restricting the H-1B visa, Trump proposed the suspension of Indian students studying remotely during the pandemic. Despite these restrictive measures, Trump consistently claimed to support a merit-based legal immigration system.

This recent shift in perspective, proposing automatic Green Cards for international students upon graduation, marks a significant and welcome change in his stance. It suggests a more inclusive approach that could benefit countless aspiring students and professionals seeking to build their futures in the United States

What is the Objective of the Automatic Green Card?

Speaking on the ‘All-In’ podcast hosted by four venture capitalists, Donald Trump pledged his commitment to providing foreign talent with ample opportunities to remain in the US. More importantly, he expressed a keen interest in granting Green Cards to foreign students graduating in STEM fields. Through his new proposal, Trump encourages US organizations to hire, train, and retain meritorious students and skilled professionals. The core objective of this initiative is to incentivize talented Indian students and working professionals to stay in the US, contributing to its growth and progress.

Decoding the Green Card Proposal for the Benefit of US Bound Indian Graduate Prospects

With the next US presidential election due in November 2024, it can be challenging to distinguish between political rhetoric and genuine intentions from the candidates regarding transformative reforms that could benefit Indian study abroad aspirants like you. Therefore, we aim to contextualize Trump’s proposal for your understanding, benefit, and suitable action.

The US political system is dominated by two parties: the Democrats, led by current President Joe Biden, and the Republicans, the party of former President Donald Trump. As the US immigration system is experiencing a massive backlog, President Biden has implemented innovative immigration reforms to address long-pending legal and illegal immigration issues. These reforms include providing pathways to residency for skilled and experienced legal immigrants driving the US economy forward and increasing student visa allocations, especially for Indian students. Biden’s initiatives to streamline the immigration system are evident from the surge in student visa applications from Indian students. This surge is likely to increase in 2024, prompting US embassies in India to start the interview process earlier than usual.

On the other hand, former President Donald Trump, who is vying to return to the top post, has emerged as a formidable competitor to Joe Biden by winning primary contests. With immigration being a key issue in the upcoming election, Trump has softened his previous stance on restricting Green Cards and visas. His new proposal of providing Green Cards to foreign students graduating from US universities is seen as a transformative and positive step to retain top talent in the US, preventing them from leaving due to the inability to stay longer and contribute to the US growth story.

However, it’s crucial to remember that any presidential proposal, including this one, must pass both houses of Congress to become law. This legislative requirement adds complexity to implementing new immigration measures, regardless of who wins the presidency. Therefore, while Trump’s proposal sounds promising, its realization depends on Congressional approval.

Why This is a Good Time to Pursue Graduate Studies in the US?

According to a recent analysis by HolonIQ, a global research firm, Indian students are projected to dominate US enrolment over the next 10 years. This trend is underscored by a significant 63% increase in Indian graduate enrolment in 2023 compared to the previous year.

The strengthening Indo-US ties have contributed to a favourable environment for Indian students pursuing higher education in the US. Revisions in immigration policies and the implementation of more welcoming student policies have made the US a safe and attractive destination.

In addition to offering a diverse array of master’s degrees—from finance to computer science—that align closely with job market demands, especially in competitive fields like STEM, US universities are renowned for their quality education. For instance, universities such as Lehigh University not only provide need-based financial aid but also offer merit-based scholarships specifically tailored for Indian students. Remarkably, Lehigh University boasts a high 98% employment rate for its international graduates.

Furthermore, unlike the traditional route that could take years to secure a Green Card, recent proposals and initiatives aim to streamline this process, potentially providing quicker pathways for Indian students and professionals to establish permanent residency in the US. These factors highlight the US as an increasingly promising destination for Indian students seeking quality education, career opportunities, and a supportive academic environment conducive to their personal and professional growth.

How Can Collegepond Help You Realize your American Dream

Being a premier study abroad counselling outfit for over two decades, Collegepond has distinguished itself through a holistic approach to counselling. We thoroughly assess external factors such as political developments and the labour market while providing valuable insights into higher education in the US. Additionally, our longstanding partnerships with US universities reflect our commitment to empowering students to realize their American Dreams.

As we are carefully observing the evolving political landscape in America, we are closely evaluating Trump’s recent remarks regarding the student-friendly immigration initiatives implemented by Joe Biden. While the decision on the next occupant of the Oval Office rests with American voters, we believe it would present a win-win situation for Indian students, regardless of the election outcome. It’s important to note that immigration remains a prominent election issue in the US, with widespread public support for granting citizenship to skilled and qualified immigrants. Therefore, should there be a change of administration in the White House on November 5, 2024, there is a strong possibility that proposals discussed in podcasts could translate into Green Cards for you and numerous Indian study abroad aspirants.

If you want to make informed decisions for your future, let Collegepond be your trusted ally and expert guide to US education. Simply fill out our free consultation form, and we’ll help chart the course for your future success.

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Copyright © 2002 – 2024 | All Rights Reserved | Collegepond Counsellors Pvt. Ltd.

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Address: Office No. 204, 2nd Floor, ML Spaces, Dashrathlal Joshi Rd. Opp. Old Jain Mandir, Vile Parle West, Mumbai – 400056.


Email: info@collegepond.com


Call Us:  022-46003655


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Copyright © 2002 – 2024 | All Rights Reserved | Collegepond Counsellors Pvt. Ltd.