STEM OPT Extension: Pros and cons for international students

Many international students prefer to gain some work experience before they decide to go back to their home country or stay in the US. International students searching for experiential training, job and internship opportunities in the US face several hardships. Visa and immigration cap is one of the biggest hurdles

In specific, the recent uncertainty on Optional Practical Training STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) extension can jeopardize the career plans of many international students who invested substantially in their education in the US with a hope of recovering some cost and also gaining work experience.

The DHS recently published a new rule that increased the OPT extension from 17 to 24 months, in addition to the 12-month extension already allowed. But the DHS missed deadlines to get the rule implemented. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is now asking the court to extend that deadline 90 days, until May 10.

According to Computer World, “DHS said it received 50,500 comments, of which 85% of 43,000 ‘are unique.’ The department said it’s the most public comments it has ever received — since its creation in 2003 — for any regulation.”

Students of MIT who are the member of the Legislative Action Subcommittee of the Graduate Student Council provided following summary of the proposal.

What are your views on the impact of these OPT changes on international students?

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OPT extension for STEM analysis impact on internartional students
OPT STEM Extension Proposal for International Students Seeking Job Training

 

About Rahul Choudaha, PhD

I’m the co-founder and CEO of DrEducation, LLC, a US-based research and consulting firm specializing in global higher education. I analyze trends impacting global student mobility and its implications for institutional growth and innovation strategies. As an adjunct, I have taught courses on international higher education at New York University and Baruch College. My lens to global higher education is shaped by the intersection of my cross-disciplinary education background. I hold a doctorate in Higher Education from the University of Denver and a bachelor’s in engineering and a master’s in business from India. Follow me on Twitter.com/DrEducationBlog

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