"OPT serves our national interest, helping to address skill scarcities, fueling research and development, and investing long-term in the future American workforce."Read more:
What is OPT? 5 Things to Know
Every year, more than 1 million students from around the globe earn their higher education at colleges and universities in the U.S. However, our outdated immigration system does not provide a clear pathway for graduates to remain in the country long-term and pursue citizenship, so many of these students will take their American education elsewhere instead. Optional Practical Training (OPT) program provides a limited but important solution for some by functioning as a limited “bridge visa status,” providing a connection between their student status and finding an employer to sponsor them for a work visa or green card.
The promise of real-world experience and a “bridge” to a longer-term immigration status for highly-skilled, U.S.-educated graduates serves our national interest by helping address severe skill shortages; fueling research, development, and innovation at U.S. businesses; and by investing long-term in the future American workforce, in addition to the benefits of applied training for OPT participants.