U.S. at Risk of Losing the Benefits of Talented International Students

America Needs International Students and Scholars

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The United States is in a competition for global talent with other countries. We are losing our market share of international students and scholars, while many other countries are proactively introducing national policies and marketing strategies in order to attract these talented individuals.


Students can work for up to 18 months after graduation.

Graduates of certain high-need occupations are able to work longer, for up to four years.1


Following graduation, foreign students can work for a time period equal to the period they studied in Canada, up to a maximum of three years.

Work experience considered “skilled” helps graduates qualify for legal residence in Canada.2


In 2008, China set a target of bringing half a million foreign students to its shores by 2020; in 2015, enrollment was just below 400,000.

Foreign students graduating with a master’s degree or above are immediately eligible to apply for work visas within one year of graduation. 3

What Congress Can Do to Help Our Universities Compete

America needs welcoming and commonsense immigration policies; uncertainty hinders our competitive edge.

Congress should support bills that make us a more welcoming nation. We urge Congress to protect practical training and make more green cards available for students who graduate from our universities.

Congress should exercise oversight over the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Justice, and the State Department to ensure these agencies:

  • Allow students to gain experiential learning opportunities
  • Ensure timely and predictable visa processing
  • Strategically use resources to focus on violent convicted criminals and not on vetted students who enhance our security and economy