Ways of Staying: Status Composition of International Student Stayers and Its Variations Over Cohorts and Education Trajectories

Jasmine Ha , Australian National University

Studies of international student post-graduation retention are limited by the short observation time-frame for which data are available. Long-term outcomes, particularly students’ transitions into more permanent migration statuses, remain a black box. This paper examines international students who stay in the U.S. science, health, and engineering workforce. I focus on the composition of stayers’ with respect to migration status, asking whether stayers are retained predominantly with temporary visas, legal permanent residency (LPR), or naturalized citizenship. I also consider how status composition varies across two elements: broader changes in U.S. immigration policy context and the educational trajectories of student-stayers. Results from logistic regressions indicate that the probability of holding LPR status is much higher among stayers in the 1997-2002 and the post-2002 cohorts, compared to the pre-1986 cohort. Further, I find that students who divert from the common education trajectory are also more likely to become LPR and naturalized U.S. citizens.

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 Presented in Session 237. The Demography of Authorized Migration