H1B Visa Program Updates to Benefit MBA Students in the US

H1B visaThere’s good news for international MBA students! The H1B visa program has been updated to benefit international graduate students, who will now effectively get two shots at approval.

First, as part of a graduate student only pool, and then as part of the total pool.  Students graduating from US colleges with master’s degrees (and other advanced degrees) will have a better chance of receiving an H1B visa under this new policy change, effective as of April 1, 2019.

As we shared with Find MBA, we have seen some tougher scrutiny from this administration on H1B visa approval than in the past. Sometimes, it involves seeking additional confirmations and follow-ups, or unexpected visa declines. The current U.S. administration wants to confirm that the courses students take align with the roles to which they apply. By definition, this makes them  “specially skilled employees” for those roles.

We expect to see employers increase MBA recruiting soon among internationals studying in the US as a result. As the latest GMAC Corporate Recruiter Survey noted, “Employers maintain a high level of interest for international hiring.”

This holds true particularly in the consulting and technology industries. Companies continue to value an interesting and diverse cohort, with students from different backgrounds.

H1B visa competition shapes MBA Admissions

Business schools are adapting to the selectivity of this visa by focusing on admitting students they deem employable upon graduation. Admissions and career recruiting considerations have become almost inseparable at many programs.

Big Tech (Amazon, Microsoft, Google) and the big three consulting firms (BCG, Bain, MCKinsey) have historically been strong supporters of international students and the H1B visa sponsorship.

Specifically, four of the six high-profile U.S. tech companies – Amazon, Microsoft, Intel, and Google – were among the top 10 employers for approved H1B petitions. Still, some recruiting firms are showing increased diligence for new employees,. They want to avoid paying to onboard and train a new MBA recruit, only to have their H1B visa application denied months later.

Strong economy allows for premier employer, title and salary

We’ve witnessed improved MBA career placement this year due to the strong labor market.  We’ve also seen students land internships or jobs at firms one tier higher than they originally thought.  Naturally, jobs at premier firms such as McKinsey, Google, and Goldman Sachs will always remain competitive.  With an MBA education, new recruits can fill the needs at these companies.

Our clients have leveraged this advantage by securing multiple interviews and resulting offers –often across different jobs or industries.  Multiple offers allow students to potentially negotiate salary components or other intangibles (office location, etc.).  It allows soon-to-be MBA graduates to consider an array of options. They can really shape how they envision the next significant era of their life’s journey.

Like any major life decision, there are risks and rewards ahead for MBA hopefuls.  But the recent H1B visa program changes hold promise for internationals who value the MBA as their gateway to the US.

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