‘Now, get­ting stu­dent visas is eas­ier than H-1B’

The Times of India (Mumbai edition) - - TIMES CITY - Yogita.Rao@ times­group.com

Mum­bai: Very few IIT grad­u­ates who were of­fered jobs have started work in the US. The rest have joined the or­ga­ni­za­tions’ In­dia of­fices or are be­ing of­fered other al­ter­na­tives.

Mi­crosoft, for in­stance, has of­fered Cana­dian po­si­tions to stu­dents.

“The stu­dents are look­ing for­ward to join­ing the Cana­dian of­fice soon. Though the pack­ages are not the same, most or­ga­ni­za­tions have a good rep­u­ta­tion. And they prom­ise to move stu­dents to US lo­ca­tions af­ter they com­plete a year or two, when they man­age the visas,” said an IIT- Bom­bay grad­u­ate. Some three to four stu­dents of IITBom­bay have been af­fected.

A com­puter sci­ence and en­gi­neer­ing stu­dent from the Powai cam­pus said, “Stu­dents are al­ways keen on US jobs, but many pre­fer to work for a year or two and then pur­sue higher stud­ies. If it takes more than a year just to get US visas, the job lo­ca­tion is of lit­tle con­se­quence. Such stu­dents would rather choose bet­ter do­mes­tic op­por­tu­ni­ties. Get­ting stu­dent visas is eas­ier than get­ting H-1B visas now.”

Older IITs, though open to invit­ing US firms, are also tread­ing cau­tiously to en­sure po­si­tions | stu­dents do not get a raw deal. At one of the older IITs, a stu­dent who had bagged a US job The US of­fers at other IITs were al­most neg­li­gi­ble last year. The ones in Mum­bai, Delhi, Chen­nai and Kan­pur are the most af­fected due to the visa pol­icy quit to join another com­pany af­ter his visa ap­pli­ca­tion was re­jected. “He was asked to work in the Ban­ga­lore of­fice. He was one of our batch top­pers,” said a stu­dent from that in­sti­tute. “Ev­ery­one, in­clud­ing the com­pa­nies, are a lit­tle cau­tious about the visa pol­icy in the US. Apart from the US, we are also in­creas­ingly look­ing at Euro­pean firms from Ger­many and Am­s­ter­dam that have agreed to visit the cam­pus. It is our pol­icy to reach out to ev­ery­one,” said a stu­dent co­or­di­na­tor from IIT-Kan­pur.

The place­ment cell at IITBom­bay, too, in­tends to seek some kind of as­sur­ance from US firms vis­it­ing the in­sti­tute this De­cem­ber, said a co­or­di­na­tor. “Many of these softwa- re gi­ants re­main stu­dents’ top pref­er­ences. IIT-Bom­bay is also reach­ing out to most of the Asian and Euro­pean firms, apart from the US. Ja­pan, Tai­wan and Sin­ga­pore have been show­ing a keen in­ter­est in IITs,” said a stu­dent co­or­di­na­tor from IIT-B.

A mem­ber of the All In­dia Place­ment Com­mit­tee of the IITs said that stu­dents from the older, es­tab­lished IITs are hit by this cri­sis com­pared with newer ones. “The US of­fers at other IITs were al­most neg­li­gi­ble last year. The ones in Mum­bai, Delhi, Chen­nai and Kan­pur are the most af­fected due to the visa pol­icy,” said the mem­ber.

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