“The ruling by the DC District Court dismissing the challenge to the STEM Optional Practical Training rule is welcome news for the hundreds of thousand of foreign students who rely on this critical, bipartisan program. Ensuring that foreign students can put their US education to use right here in America will help to create new American jobs, raise wages for native-born workers, and contribute enormously to growing our economy. We hope this issue is settled and we can have the certainty people deserve to create jobs in the United States.” – Todd Schulte, President of FWD.us
Optional Practical Training (OPT): after their studies, F-1 students can apply for OPT, which affords them temporary employment and additional training and skills development directly related to their area of study. Under the Obama Administration, DHS approved a 24-month OPT extension for eligible STEM students, which extends the total time for them to stay in the U.S. for up to 36 months post-graduation.
While the OPT STEM extension provides an important channel for students to remain in the U.S. and continue to put their talents to work here, the extension is far from safe under the Trump Administration – and there are multiple anti-reform members of Congress who want to roll it back.
We need to keep the OPT extensions
Each year, thousands of graduates who wish to stay in our country and contribute to our workforce are forced to leave, simply because their visas expire. These are talented individuals who could be growing our economy, but we kick them out to put them to work for our competitors instead.