Indian students spend more money in USA than what Indian government spends on India’s entire higher education. There are number of reasons why India is facing this massive exodus of students. I will not go into them here.
But US education system was one of the most attractive education system for Indian students. Indians in general have better image of USA, have good understanding of English and Indians prefer careers in tech.
This model worked so well that dozens of Universities across USA were dependent on Indian student’s money to function.
US government wanted this money. But US government did not want these brown Indians. That is why F1 student visa is a non-immigrant visa. While over 100K Indian students come to USA each year, they have to convince the consular officer that they will come back immediately upon completion of their education.
Very few students however actually use to return. Most of them transition to OPT which allows these students to work for around 2 years after graduation and during these 2 years they can apply for H1B. If you get lucky you can get selected in this lottery.
After H1B these students would apply for their “permanent residence” but that is where US law of “country of birth” discriminations comes into picture. Indians have to wait 100+ years to get their PR. They have to constantly renew this visa and every time pay US government thousands of dollars for these renewals.
How US government keeps student visas untouched.
Even though there are no meaningful ways for Indians to immigrate to USA anymore due to per country caps, US government has propped up its propaganda to cheat Indian students of their money.
“Despite the global pandemic, Indian students were able to apply for visas and travel to the United States. We issued over 62,000 student visas this summer alone, more than in any previous year. This goes to show that the US remains the destination of choice for Indian students looking to study abroad. We look forward to issuing many more visas in the year to come,” he said. [Source]
In the middle of pandemic when US government banned nearly every type of visitors including Indians working in USA on H1B for decades, they kep the student visa pipeline flowing.
It is estimated that around 150K Indian students got F1 visa in 2021.
Indian students wised up.
In last few years though Indian immigrants in USA helped their juniors back home understand the scheme US universities have been running. That wised up many Indian students who switched to Canadian education instead of American.
More Indian students study in Canada that in USA today. This is pretty huge difference given that Canada’s population in 1/9th of USA. All these students will also get their Permanent residence status in Canada pretty soon and citizenship in few years.
Had these students stuck in USA, they would have had to renew their H1B every few years.
There are currently 215,720 Indian students holding Canadian study permits, which is 1.8% more than the 211,930 in the US. The Canadian High Commission in Delhi alone issued 100,000 study permits in the first four years of 2021, which is 4.2% higher than the same period in 2019. [Source]
Donald Trump who was one of the most anti-immigrant president in recent history tried to kick 500,000 Indians on H1B out of the country. Most of these people have been in the country in 10+ years and would have obtained their green cards if not for US law that discriminates against Indians.
THEY don't want you Indians here. WE want you here. Please don't leave before Nov 3 plays out. “This would have a devastating impact on people who have waited many years for their chance at the American Dream only to be denied by a changed process” https://t.co/Sw4kpr6Oeu
— David Bier (@David_J_Bier) June 25, 2020
Donald Trump’s political opponents, that is the Democrats are left leaning and have other reasons to hate Indians. They openly mocked Indians.
Canadian immigration has its own challenges but it is far superior to the America’s racism driven system.
Canada’s immigration system is far from perfect. It has its own problems. But, it is predictable and the rule of law works as intended. You know what you will get and in what timeframe.
Listen to the story of an Indian who learned the lesson hard way.