The US government has added data science and financial analytics to the list of degrees where international students can get a three-year visa extension after graduating instead of the standard one year. Known as ‘optional practical training’, the three-year waiver is now being applied more widely.
During the last five years, international student enrolment at US universities has waned as students make a beeline for countries such as Canada or the UK. The major reason for the shift was not just cheaper education, but also the path to becoming a permanent resident has been clear. To be more welcoming, the Joe Biden government has now allowed students studying on J-1 visas, to work in the U.S. for up to three years.
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Though the H-1B remains the most popular visa type, it’s hard to get. The Biden administration is also attempting to create opportunities for scientific researchers to work for businesses on J-1 visas.
The salary figures for H-1B visa holders also indicate the recently graduated data science and analytics students who work for US banks can earn between USD 85,000 to USD 190,000 depending on their role. JPMorgan in California currently has some of the highest salaries for technologists in finance; while Wells Fargo in Charlotte has quite low salaries for entry-level quants.
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The US government has also offered new guidelines to help professionals in STEM fields apply for the O-1 visas for people with extraordinary ability. The work is also in progress to release guidelines to help more STEM professionals applying for green cards skip a step in the process.