When Is The Right Time To Plan Your Child's Immigration For Studies/Work

If the child is closer to completing secondary education one can always look at an F1 student visa for the US, as it can be issued up to 120 days in advance of the course of study start date.

Acquiring a quality education is every student’s dream and one that is often attached to securing a degree from a renowned institution overseas. Parents and students begin to plan future education and narrow down prospects from the child’s early age. With India being home for some of the world greatest minds, the quality of education that a student gets is often scrutinized and put on a pedestal. Despite changes in educational policies, a large section of the young Indian academia yearns for a foreign education, especially from a country like the United States. Reports suggest that the United States of America is one of the most sought-after countries for international students to pursue higher education, along with Canada, Australia, and the United Kingdom.  

Owing to the current world economy and the ever-changing immigration policies, it is recommended that ideally, parents of students aspiring to move abroad should start planning for this when children enter high school; giving them ample time to vet their options and choose wisely. According to reports, the number of Indian students in the US has increased by approximately 3% (over the previous year) accounting to 202,014 students in 2019. Indian citizenry are captivated by the US not just because of world-class education but also a better quality of life, access to advanced infrastructure and technology along with superior employment opportunities. It is important for both students and parents to evaluate the pros and cons of the immigration route that they select when they move abroad to study.  

For example, students moving to the US have a wide array of options before them- each that requires a stipulated timeframe to successfully materialise. In this instance, the long-term goal of the immigrant must be taken into account along with analysing monetary allowances. For students who want to permanently relocate to the US, keeping the timeline for securing a US residency (green card) should most definitely be a consideration. With the H-1B program under scrutiny, for the most part, it is advisable that parents look out for alternate routes. Currently, the Trump administration has suspended many work visas including the issue of new H-1B visas to protect American jobs owing to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. A simpler way to secure a student’s future in the US would be for parents to consider the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Visa Programme. Under the Programme’s guidelines, an immigrant is required to invest a minimum amount of $ 900,000 into the US economy and create a minimum of 10 jobs. In return, the government grants the applicant, his or her spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21 with green cards. The entire process for a family to attain green cards through the EB-5 Programme can be anywhere between 18-36 months depending on the country allocations. Thus, a family should start preparing for the immigration procedure for the child in high school as it is backed by conscientious planning. Similarly, countries like Canada, UK, Australia, New Zealand and more also have residency via investment programmes that can help secure a child’s future in the country of their choice.  

Students usually indicate their desire to go aboard for studies post entering their secondary school and realise that they are already hard-pressed for time. However, if the child is closer to completing secondary education one can always look at an F1 student visa for the US, as it can be issued up to 120 days in advance of the course of study start date. For the one concerned about the uncertainty and changing immigration scenario, such as the recent restrictions on issuing new F1 visas due to COVID-19,  should opt for Programmes like the EB-5 because of the unmatched benefits it offers. 

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house

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