因此，印第安纳大学（Indiana University）凯莱商学院（Kelley School of Business）推出了“印第安纳大学移民协助计划”（IU Immigration Bridge Program），旨在联合学院的毕业生、公司招聘者和移民律师事务所，轻松解读H-1B签证文字工作与相关法规，帮助有意聘请国外学生的美国雇主简化复杂的移民程序。
这是第一个涉及这个领域的计划，理念直接指向外国留学生之间对工作签证日益激烈的竞争。据布鲁金斯研究所（Brookings Institution）统计，自2000年以来，美国高校外国留学生人数增加了49%，其中60%的增长来自中国；23%来自印度。美国国家教育统计中心（the National Center for Education Statistics ）的数据显示，美国本科生与研究生中“非居民”的比例近几年增长有限。2012年，仅有超过2.5%的本科生为外国学生，2007年为2.15%。2012年，美国研究生中外国学生的比例为11.4%，五年前，该群体的比例为11%。
The United States is training a growing number of foreign students at its universities, but many are sent packing overseas after graduation day, a result of an arcane visa process that keeps many employers from even giving a talented foreign graduate a second glance.
In an effort to streamline the complex immigration process that arises when U.S. employers want to hire international students, the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University has introduced what it calls the IU Immigration Bridge Program, an initiative aimed at bringing together the school's graduates, corporate recruiters, and an immigration law firm to breeze through the maze of H-1B visa paperwork and regulation.
The program, which the school's associate director of career services Paul Binder says will "bring jobs to students sooner rather than later," will assist its first class of graduates this spring.
Binder says that the program was not started to address a problem at the school. He maintains that Kelley's graduates have little trouble finding employment. Last year, 93% of its graduates had a job offer within three months of leaving school. (Binder did not know what that percentage was among international students.) Instead, IU created the program, he says, to provide resources to ease the visa process that can often delay or hinder the hiring of international students. Once an employer learns that a prospective hire needs authorization to work in the U.S., it "sometimes steps back a little," Binder says, "They don't want to do it because of the perceived high cost and paperwork."
For international students to remain in the U.S. after graduation, an employer must sponsor them with an H-1B visa for skilled foreign workers. But because the visa costs an average of $4,000 and has lengthy process times, employers -- especially small and midsize firms that lack a large legal staff -- shy away from pursuing international job candidates, even if they're well qualified, Binder says. Through the Bridge Program, IU has teamed up with immigration firm Fragomen, Del Rey, Bernsen & Loewy to help students and their potential employers tackle the cumbersome process. Once international students receive significant interest from an employer or an actual job offer, their visa matter is referred to Fragoman, and the firm handles it on behalf of the employer at a discounted rate. (Binder declined to disclose the price.)
The concept of the program -- one of the first of its kind -- points to the growing competition among international students for working visas. According to the Brookings Institution, since 2000, the U.S. has witnessed a 49% increase in the number of foreign students studying at its universities -- 60% of that growth can be attributed to China; 23% to India. Figures from the National Center for Education Statistics show that the percentage of "non-residents" in undergraduate and graduate programs has inched up in recent years. Just over 2.5% of undergrads were foreign students in 2012, compared to 2.15% in 2007. Foreign students made up 11.4% of enrollees at graduate programs in 2012, up from 11% five years ago.
Meanwhile, the number of visas available to keep this growing number of students in the country after graduation has remained stagnant since 2007, when 20,000 visas specifically for graduates of U.S. universities were added to the previous cap of 65,000.
During the recession, not all 85,000 visa spots were filled, but now that the economy is recovering and companies are hiring again, there's a surplus of applicants. Visas are issued on a first-come, first-served basis, and during the most recent filing period for H-1Bs that began last April, the cap was reached within a week, says Neil Ruiz, associate fellow at Brookings. Visa recipients were determined by lottery. Forty-thousand applicants were rejected with no option but to try again this year.