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What’s stopping India’s tech grads from starting their dream jobs in the US?

Entries to US placements are big obstacles for Indian tech grads now. Source: Reuters

Answer: Donald Trump.

Thanks to the current US administration’s immigration policies, some graduates from the Indian Institute of Technology are not able to start work with American software giants, despite already landing those jobs since last December.

According to Times of India, many students are now wary of offers for US placements, which have since decreased, ever since the country went over a change of political regime last year with the election of Trump as president.

This has led to some graduates settling for placements at less attractive companies, while others look to countries other than the US for their international work placements.

One student had to quit his US job and join another company when his visa application was rejected.

“He was asked to work in the Bangalore office. He was one of our batch toppers,” said a student from that institute.

“Everyone, including the companies, are a little cautious about the visa policy in the US.”

Reuters reported in April that Trump had ordered a review of the visa programmes for bringing high-skilled foreign workers into the US via an executive order on the H-1B visa programme.

His aides said it would not change the rules as they stand but will modify the current lottery system for H-1B visas with a merit-based one that would limit the visas to highly skilled workers. Indian nationals receive the most number of H-1B visas per year.

Infosys Ltd, a company which connects thousands of US companies with foreign engineers and programmers, are among the companies expected to be affected by the review on the visa programme. Source: Reuters/Abhishek N. Chinnappa

With these changes, Indian graduates are also looking to countries like Japan, Taiwan, Canada, Singapore and some European countries as alternatives for their work placements abroad. Companies, like Microsoft, have made offers for positions in their Canadian offices to students.

“The students are looking forward to joining the Canadian office soon. Though the packages are not the same, most organisations have a good reputation. And they promise to move students to US locations after they complete a year or two, when they manage the visas,” said an IIT-Bombay graduate.

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