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Expansion of STEM Optional Practical Training

Expansion of STEM Optional Practical Training

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced on January 21, 2022, that 22 new fields of study are now included in the STEM Optional Practical Training (OPT) program. The United States is making immigration changes to attract more foreign STEM (science, technology, engineering or mathematics) talent to help with the U.S. economic recovery. To attract more nonimmigrant students for U.S. universities and employers, more F-1 visa students earning bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degrees in certain STEM fields will be able to remain in the U.S. for up to 36 months to work in their field of study.

In announcing the expansion of the STEM Optional Practical Training, Secretary Mayorkas said

“STEM innovation allows us to solve the complex challenges we face today and make a difference in how we secure and protect our country. Through STEM education and training opportunities, DHS is expanding the number and diversity of students who excel in STEM education and contribute to the U.S. economy.”

The 22 new fields of STEM study that qualify for OPT extensions are:

• bioenergy
• general forestry
• forest resources production and management
• human-centered technology design
• cloud computing
• anthrozoology
• climate science
• earth systems science
• economics and computer science
• environmental geosciences
• geobiology
• geography and environmental studies
• mathematical economics
• mathematics and atmospheric and oceanic science
• general data science
• general data analytics
• business analytics
• data visualization
• financial analytics
• other data analytics
• industrial and organizational psychology
• social sciences, research methodology, and quantitative methods

What is OPT: The Optional Practical Training Program

The Optional Practical Training (OPT) Program allows noncitizens who are in the United States on an F-1 student visa to work in the U.S. for up to three years if they meet eligibility requirements.

Learn More:

New Guidance on O-1A Visa Requirements
New Program For J-1 STEM International Students

Contact an Experienced  Cook or DuPage County Visa Attorney

With continuously changing immigration programs and qualifications, it can be confusing for international students to apply and receive their student visas in a timely manner to attend their course of study. Mario Godoy and the other experienced immigration attorneys at the Godoy Law Office can assess your situation and advise you on your best options to apply for a student visa. Call today at 630-912-0322.   

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