Column: Great news for students from China

Extending the length of student visas allows Chinese students to pursue their dreams in America.

As announced towards the end of 2014, China and the United States have agreed on extending U.S. visas’ validity for Chinese individuals coming to America. Not only will students coming to the States enjoy the extension, tourists, visitors and business parties will also benefit from the agreement.

The extension made some big changes to our current visa system. For instance, Chinese tourists or businessmen can now enjoy a 10-year visa instead of just one year. Moreover, Chinese students are now allowed to stay in America for five years following their graduation rather than just one year.

Chinese students who are graduating from American undergraduate or graduate schools typically only get one year to stay in America after they finish their planned education in school. That is usually when individuals who want to work in the States to settle with a job position and get a working visa.

That one year is crucial, as students will eventually be deported and urged back to their home country if their student visa is expired when they cannot find an ideal job that will give them a working visa to secure their stay in America.

As a Chinese international student, I am ecstatic about this new extension agreement made between China and the U.S. This means more opportunities, more time (and more fun) to explore the States and see if this is a place where I want to live and work permanently. For me, it is even a time for me to enjoy the freedom of democracy (which lots of Hong Kong-ers are fighting for).

However, does it eliminate chances for domestic individuals to seek job opportunities, while Chinese students have more time to stay and work in America?

More and more students from China are coming to America to pursue their education and careers. I remember people from the last centuries saying that they believe students who studied abroad learn more, as “it is better to travel far than to read voluminously,” and that eventually creates a greater chance to land a better job. And that is why the number of Chinese students is increasing in the U.S. and we see more Chinese faces at American colleges. In fact, the influx of the Chinese students to America has boosted and contributed to the local economy, as most students pay full tuition to attend college in the States.

However, will this be a threat to the domestic students, who just graduated from colleges and are in need of a job? Some Chinese students will also be looking for jobs when they graduate from colleges, if they are not planning for even higher education.

Chinese students are well known for their urge to succeed. Most Chinese students’ perseverance is very remarkable; such as the adept ability for taking any exam. They will try as hard as possible in order to get themselves into their dream career path.

Will local students have to compete with the Chinese students graduating the same time to look for jobs? Will this new extension benefit the U.S. economy but create a threat to local college graduates at the same time?

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