WASHINGTON, DC – Today, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit issued a decision in the WashTech vs. DHS case regarding the legality of the Optional Practical Training (OPT) program. The decision affirms OPT’s legality and dismisses WashTech’s attempts to end the program. FWD.us President Todd Schulte issued the following statement in response:
“Today’s ruling affirms what we have known for many years—the OPT program is legal, it is good for international students, and it is good for U.S. businesses and the economy. As the judges explain, practical training programs for international graduates have existed for more than 70 years. Establishing the OPT program and the STEM extensions are fully within DHS’ authority.
“FWD.us helped to lead 60 businesses, trade associations, and organizations in filing an amicus brief in this case because we understand how vital OPT is to these students’ education and to the U.S. businesses who seek to hire them after they graduate. Students who are educated in the U.S. should have an opportunity to stay and contribute their skills and education in the U.S. OPT is one of the only ways international students can do that under current law.
“Now that the question of OPT’s legality is settled, Congress should complement this successful program with real pathways to permanent status for international graduates. Attracting and retaining global talent strengthens our economy, our national security, and our global competitiveness.”