Foreign Universities Continue To Attract Students Irrespective Of the Worldwide Covid19 Situation

The west has been a significant land of opportunities for Indian students for ages. However, there has been a sudden increase in the number of Indian students trying to cast their way to several foreign universities in recent times. According to the Indian government, there is a rise of around 45% in the total number of Indian students studying abroad. This rise is in a period of barely two years, between 2018 and 2020.

According to the data for the financial year 2019-20, there was an expenditure of a massive $4,989 million (INR 37,500 crore) by Indians. This vast expense was for the payment of overseas education of students. This amount was an increase of more than 40 times within a time of five years. So the question arises: Why are Indians spending so much on foreign education, and how important is it for an Indian student?

Present Covid19 Situation Has No Effect

The present global pandemic is ineffective in discouraging Indian students from studying abroad. According to a recent report, there has been a rise in domestic students willing to apply to US colleges. This increase in admission was despite the global pandemic. There has been a jump of around 28% in Indian applications during 2020-21. This data was in comparison to similar data taken the previous year.

Indian students’ faith in their ambitions seems to get more substantial due to specific steps taken by different foreign universities. These steps include maintaining a high standard of health and shifting lectures to online platforms.

Why Are So Many Students Applying?

There are several motivations behind Indian students pursuing overseas education. First, several Indian families consider US education as a doorway to abundant opportunities for their kids. Second, excluding the quality of the education, several factors attract Indians towards foreign education.

  1. Greater cultural awareness.
  2. Possibility to pursue the American dream.
  3. Numerous network effects come with education.

Immigration Policies Play the Key Role

You may have strong reasons to study abroad. However, your level of experience as a working professional or student in a foreign country depends on the immigration laws of that country. The abolishment of the 2-year post-study work visa by the UK in 2011 proves this fact.

As a result of this abolishment, many Indian students studying in various universities in the UK had to drop out. However, the UK government reinstated the visa in 2019.

Talking about the US, it isn’t effortless to obtain non-immigrant visas such as the H-1B work visa. This visa is given through a lottery system. The chances of getting this work visa are very thin as it is always oversubscribed. It is also possible for you to receive a denial even after winning the lottery.

Thankfully, there are many developed countries with government-run immigration programs. These programs can notably boost the experience of various Indian students by offering long-term residency options.

The Federal EB-5 visa program in the US offers Indian students a route to obtaining Green Cards. It can also provide a permanent residence that can open up improved opportunities for living, work opportunities, and education. Wealthy Indian families willing to send their kids to the US for further studies find this option rather attractive.

An investment of $900,000 for at least five years in a project is essential to receive an EB-5 visa. In addition, this project needs to be in a designated “targeted employment area” or TEA. It is also necessary that the investment helps to create a minimum of 10 US jobs per application. At present, most Indian families can enjoy the benefits of a Green Card 2 or 3 years after submitting their application.

In 2019, Indian overtook China as the biggest market for the EB-5 program. This may be due to the highly lengthy wait times for different visa categories. According to the Cato Institute, the Green Card applications by Indian nationals under the EB-2 and EB-3 programs have an unbelievable average wait time of around 84 years. There is an expectation that the EB-5 program will soon witness an increase in the number of Indian investors. This is mainly due to the uncertainty regarding other visas.

There is speculation that the rising competition for college admissions after the recent pandemic will also push the demand for EB-5 visas from India. There is a significant benefit for Indian students applying to US colleges with an EB-5 visa. They may enjoy a greater possibility of getting accepted as most schools will not consider them international students.

After becoming a Green Card holder, the door to several financial aid services will open up to them within the US. Such Indian students may also be eligible for reduced tuition fees. An Indian student with a Green Card receives much more excellent career opportunities than any other international student. Plus the fact that there is nil dependency on an employer for sponsorship of their visa.

You will come across several advisory services and private investment firms that assist EB-5 applicants in identifying suitable projects for investments. The main motive is to choose the right project to secure a family’s immigration benefit and offer robust investor protection mechanisms. This will provide confidence in preserving the capital of the investor.

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