Immigration Blog

DHS Plans To Allow F1 Students Work For 6 Years Under OPT

By Bill at July 20, 2015 22:19
Filed Under: Immigration News
After granting work permits to certain H-4 visa holders, Department of Homeland Security (DHS) plans to further expand Optional Practical Training(OPT) program, so foreign students with F1 visa might work in the United States for up to 6 years. The new proposal will 

(1) allow foreign students with degrees in STEM fields to receive up to two 24-month extensions beyond the original 12-month period provided under OPT regulations, for a total of up to six years of post-graduation employment in student status(three years after bachelor degree and another three years after advanced degree); and 

(2) authorize foreign graduates of non-STEM U.S. degree programs to receive the 24-month extension of the OPT period, even if the STEM degree upon which the extension is based is an earlier degree and not for the program from which the student is currently graduating (e.g. student has a bachelor's in chemistry and is graduating from an M.B.A. program). 

Some criticize that, "DHS's OPT regulations deliberately circumvent the statutory caps on H-1B visas ... by allowing aliens who are unable to get an H-1B visa to remain in the United States and work on an F-1 student visa instead." 

Senator Chuck Grassley expressed his concerns, "By increasing the total amount of time a foreign student may work in OPT after each degree to 3 years - the same amount of time that an H-1B visa would be valid - there is little doubt that the Administration has administratively established a de facto shadow H-1B program, in violation of Congressional intent. " read Grassley letter to DHS 

Please visit our USA visa section to know more about F1 Student visa and Optional Practical Training(OPT) program

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