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Is the US still a land of opportunity for students from India?

When the people of the United States of America welcome Joe Biden and Kamala Harris to register a thumping win in the US Presidential Elections in 2020, relief sweeps through India's students, who are now reconsidering their higher studies at US universities.

A reform in the law for student visas involving fixed terms of up to four years for student visas was recently introduced by the Trump-led US government.

Student visas currently meet "status duration," which enables students to remain in the country before they are accepted at any university. With the new law, irrespective of the time taken by a student to complete the program, the student visa would be valid for four years only. The confusion factor among aspiring Indian students triggered by the proposed visa regulations is likely to change with the new Democratic administration. Last academic year, the USA was a destination for about a million international students. The value to America of these foreign students, including learners from India, is recognized by most policymakers. International education is the fifth largest export to the US service industry, adding almost $41 billion in 2019 to the economy. More than 458,000 jobs were also created by foreign students during that period.

In short, for America, students from India and around the world are important. For decades, for its high-quality teaching, diversity, and welcoming community, the nation has been the first choice for Indian students. In reality, one thing has always remained constant through both Republican and Democratic administrations - America's status as a pioneer in global higher education.


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