Currently, Optional Practical Training (OPT) can be accessed by foreign-born students with a current F-1 visa status.

OPT Defined

Optional Practical Training allows students with a valid F-1 visa to work temporarily and legally in the United States. However, the nature of the work performed by the student must directly relate to the field of study they are taking. More information on obtaining an F-1 student visa can be found by visiting F–1 Visa and Status.

Optional Practical Training Program Expansion

The USCIS and ICE are expected to expand the OPT program that is currently available for F–1 students. It is expected that these expansions will include increased legibility for STEM students who are participating in degree programs. An expansion to the time frame STEM students will be eligible for the program is also expected.
Further expected improvements include steps taken by USCIS as well as by ICE to guarantee that the employment program is in harmony with US labor predictions and does not prevent US workers from finding employment.

Work Period Extension

ICE is on the verge of unveiling new regulations that govern the OPT program. These include giving foreign graduates the right to legally work in the United States in their chosen field for 29 months following their graduation.

Increase in Eligible OPT Degree Programs

Interestingly, Johnson requested to increase the number of degree programs that are eligible for OPT. It was also recommended that students doing engineer, scientific, mathematical, and technological programs of study be given the option to participate in the OPT program for a longer period of time.

Further Adjustments and OPT Employment

Many have recommended that the OPT program have stronger links to the institution of higher learning that grant participating students their degrees. Also, it has been stated that better guidelines should be in place guaranteeing that OPT participants are not taking jobs from US citizens seeking the same employment.

We can help you!

There are many positive benefits that the OPT program provides for F-1 students who meet the qualifications. Any student who is interested in learning about OPT benefits or any individual looking to apply for an F-1 visa can receive more information by contacting the KPPB Law. We can provide practical assistance and answer questions about student visas as well as direct students to resources that will help them receive the work training they desire.

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