F-1 Visa Optional Practical Training (OPT) Expansion

Currently, international students who maintain an F-1 status have the permission to participate in Optional Practical Training (OPT).

What is Optional Practical Training (OPT)?

OPT is a temporary employment agreement that allows a student to work with a US employer legally, as long as the nature of the work is directly related to the international student’s course of study. Students who have a valid F-1 student visa may be eligible to participate in an OPT program. To learn more about acquiring an F-1 student visa, please visit:
F-1 Visa and Status

Expansion of Optional Practical Training Program

After reviewing the current optional practical training (OPT) program for F-1 students, USCIS and ICE are expected to improve it. ICE is expected to propose regulations that help with expanding eligibility with degree programs for STEM OPT extensions and to also expand the time period STEM students would be eligible for the OPT program.
USCIS and ICE are also expected to “take steps to ensure that OPT employment is consistent with U.S. labor market protections to safeguard the interests of U.S. workers in related fields.”

New maximum work period.

The Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency is set to put out fresh regulations that govern the optional practical training program. These new regulations will give foreign graduates of universities and colleges in the United States the right to work, for a maximum period of 29 months, within their particular fields of study upon graduation.

More degree programs eligible for OPT.

Notably, Johnson requested that the number of degree programs which are eligible for the optional practical training program should be expanded, and for the duration of the OPT status to be increased for students undertaking engineering, science, mathematics and technology programs of study.

Changes in OPT Employment

It has been stated that the optional practical training program needs more robust ties to the institutions that grant degrees. Additionally, OPT employment must hold true to the labor market protections of the United States to ensure that that U.S. citizens who work in related fields of employment are not adversely impacted.

We are ready to help you

The changes to the US optional training program (OPT) can positively benefit F-1 students who qualify. If you are interested in learning how OPT can benefit you, or are ready to pursue you F-1 student visa, contact Tucker, Nong and Associates online or by phone today. We can help you obtain an F-1 student visa and assist in all steps of the OPT process.
Don’t miss this opportunity, let us get to work on your case immediately.

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