Tag Archives: foreign workers

New ICE Report on International Students Shows Enrollment Decline

ICE released its annual “SEVIS by the Numbers” report, showing a decline in the international student population for 2019. The report highlights data tracked through the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS), a web-based system DHS uses to manage information on nonimmigrants in the U.S. whose primary purpose is to study. The latest report relies on data from the calendar year 2019. The Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) manages SEVIS and is part of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations within the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. The system tracks information on F-1 students participating in academic programs of study, M-1 students participating in vocational studies, and J-1 exchange visitors participating in a Department of State-designated exchange visitor program.

The report shows that active F-1 and M-1 students declined 1.7 percent to 1,523,758, while J-1 program participation increased 1.7 percent to 532,711. The number of SEVP-certified schools eligible to enroll nonimmigrant students dropped by 287 to 8,649. Nonimmigrant students came to study in the U.S. from 225 different countries and pursued 1,353 different primary majors, across a variety of education levels.

Geographical Trends

Asia is still the top continent of origin for students, but there was a 2.4 percent decline in the student population in 2019.

  • At just over 1.1 million students, Asia accounted for 74.6 percent of the nonimmigrant student population.
  • Africa, Australia and the Pacific Islands, and South America saw increases of .44 percent, 1.10 percent, and .03 percent, respectively.
  • China had the largest number of students (474,497), with India (249,221), and South Korea (84,071) rounding out the top three countries, despite decreases in student records from these countries.
  • There were 78,366 nonimmigrant students at K-12 schools with almost 70% coming from five countries: 47% were from China, 8.6% from South Korea, 7.5% from Vietnam, 3.4% from Mexico, and 3.1% from Brazil.

Degrees and Primary Majors

Approximately 86 percent of all F-1 and M-1 students were enrolled in associate, bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral programs.

  • Associate’s degrees accounted for 7% of agrees pursued, but the number of students declined by 8.1% from 2018 to 116,734 students.
  • Bachelor’s and master’s degrees decreased slightly with 517,556 pursuing bachelor’s degrees (down 0.88%) and 494,099 pursuing master’s degrees (down 0.9%).
  • Students in doctoral degree programs increased by 5.2% to 187,902.
  • The top majors were Second Language Learning, Business Administration and Management (General), Computer Science, Electrical and Electronics Engineering, and Computer and Information Sciences (General).
  • Approximately 52% of students were enrolled in one of the top 20 majors.

Training in the U.S.

Some students may be eligible for employment authorization through Optional Practical Training (OPT) or Curricular Practical Training (CPT).

  • In 2019, there was a 4% decrease in pre-and post-completion OPT participants reported to have worked for an employer.
  • Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) OPT employment dropped by 3.6% from 2018.
  • Students utilizing CPT employment authorization dropped significantly from 151,525 to 116,337, over a 23% decrease.

Student Employment

The top OPT employer was AZTech Technologies, employing 734 students in 2019.

  • Amazon, Google, Masswell Development Group, and Robert Half rounded out the top five employers with 569, 268, 263, and 252 student employees respectively.
  • Amazon also topped the STEM OPT employer list, with 2,431 students in 2019, followed by Google with 955, Microsoft with 700, Intel with 690, and Deloitte with 676 students.
  • The top CPT employers look similar, with the addition of Facebook at the third spot. Amazon employed 2,086 in the top spot, with Google employing 1,158, Facebook with 1,090, Microsoft with 730, and Deloitte with 672 students.
  • Visit the SEVP Data Library for complete lists of the top 200 OPT, STEM OPT, and CPT employers.

Are you an employer looking for pathways to hiring the best global talent? Contact us to discuss how you can train students to join your workforce.

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New Immigration Ban: President Declares Foreign Workers “Threat” to U.S. Economy

WHAT IS THE IMMIGRATION BAN?

President Trump issued a proclamation continuing his April 22, 2020 proclamation that prohibited the entry of immigrant visa holders and suspending and limiting the entry of any individual seeking entry pursuant to the following nonimmigrant visas:

  1. H-1B or H-2B visa, and any individual accompanying or following to join such individual.
  2. J visa, to the extent the individual is participating in an intern, trainee, teacher, camp counselor, au pair, or summer work travel program, and any individual accompanying or following to join such individual; and
  3. L visa, and any individual accompanying or following to join such individual.

The proclamation shall apply only to any individual who:

  1. is outside the United States on the effective date of this proclamation.
  2. does not have a nonimmigrant visa that is valid on the effective date of this proclamation; and
  3. does not have an official travel document other than a visa (such as a transportation letter, an appropriate boarding foil, or an advance parole document) that is valid on the effective date of this proclamation or issued on any date thereafter that permits him or her to travel to the United States and seek entry or admission.

The suspension and limitation on entry pursuant to section 2 of this proclamation shall not apply to:

  1. any lawful permanent resident of the United States.
  2. any individual who is the spouse or child, as defined in section 101(b)(1) of the INA (8 U.S.C. 1101(b)(1)), of a United States citizen.
  3. any individual seeking to enter the United States to provide temporary labor or services essential to the United States food supply chain; and
  4. any individual whose entry would be in the national interest as determined by the Secretary of State, the Secretary of Homeland Security, or their respective designees.

The continuation of Proclamation 10014 is effective immediately. The suspension of the entry of certain nonimmigrants took effect on June 24, 2020, at 12:01 am (ET) and is planned to expire on December 31, 2020 (but may be continued).

HOW DOES THIS AFFECT YOU?

If you are currently residing in the U.S. on a nonimmigrant status, this ban does not affect you.

  1. You can change status in the U.S.
  2. You can extend your status in the U.S.
  3. You can process your permanent residency application.

If you are currently outside the U.S. and you are already in possession of a valid visa, this ban does not affect you.

  1. CHALLA TIP: If you traveled outside the U.S. to visa process for a new nonimmigrant category, but are in possession of another valid nonimmigrant visa, you can return to the U.S. on your existing visa and change status to another classification in the U.S.

If you are processing a visa other than H-1B, H-2B, L-1 or J-1, this ban does not affect you.

  1. CHALLA TIP: If you are exploring investment opportunities in the U.S., the B-1 visa, which is not one of the banned nonimmigrant classifications, is a mechanism for exploring expansion into the U.S. market. You can then change status to an L-1, if eligible, in the U.S. if once arriving in the U.S. and investigating expansion options, you discover that you need to obtain a work eligible status immediately.
    1. Caution: The B-1 classification requires that at the time of entry, you intend to return to your home country. Therefore, it is impermissible to enter on the B-1 with the predetermined notion or intent to change status in the U.S. Therefore, we do not recommend utilization of the B-1 for entry with the preconceived intent to change status, but only highlighted that if after entry, the circumstances presented themselves where departing and reentering would pose a business risk, at that point there is the ability to file for a change of status application, but only after 60 days of entry.

There is also an exemption for individuals whose entry would be in the national interest as determined by the Secretary of State, the Secretary of Homeland Security, or their respective designees. That may be an opportunity to those who are able to make that argument if it is aligned with the standard for national interest waiver, an employment based permanent residency program. However, since it is a discretionary determination, we will need to wait and see how it is applied.

Additional Questions?

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