ICE Expands STEM Programs Eligible for OPT

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U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) recently expanded by 50 the list of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) degree programs that qualify eligible graduates on F-1 student visas for Optional Practical Training (OPT). By expanding the list of STEM degrees (including such fields as neuroscience, medical informatics, pharmaceutics and drug design, mathematics, and computer science), the Administration announced it is seeking to address shortages of talented scientists and technology experts in certain high tech sectors.

Under the OPT program, foreign students who graduate from U.S. colleges and universities are able to remain in the U.S. and receive training through work experience for up to 12 months. Students who graduate with one of the STEM degrees can remain for 17 months.

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