Ending OPT would force tens of thousands of international graduates to leave
If the Administration immediately ends OPT and stops issuing renewals and extensions, many international graduates, including those graduating this year with pending OPT applications, might no longer qualify for their immigration status and could be forced to leave before having an opportunity to fully contribute to the U.S.
OPT allows international students who are studying at or have graduated from universities and colleges in the U.S. to maintain their student status and be authorized to work for an American employer in their field of study. Approximately 200,000 international students are living in and contributing to the United States thanks to OPT today.
Providing options to stay and work in the country after graduation is critical for retaining U.S. educated graduates, and for attracting future students, as well. Over the last few years, the Trump Administration’s ongoing efforts to limit legal immigration have contributed to alarming drops in international student enrollment rates, costing the U.S. economy more than $11 billion. Meanwhile, countries like Canada have rolled out more options for international students, and have seen enrollment rates grow as a result.