Monday, May 16, 2011

List Of STEM Programs Eligible For OPT Extension Is Expanded

Optional Practical Training (OPT) is a one year period of free market employment available to international students after graduation.  For STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) graduates, the period of OPT can be extended by an additional 17 months (for a total of 29 months).  The only problem with this was that the list of STEM fields of study was specifically enumerated, and somewhat narrow.  Last week, ICE (Immigration Customs & Enforcement) expanded the list of STEM degrees to include such fields as Neuroscience, Medical Informatics, Pharmaceutics and Drug Design, Mathematics and Computer Science.  By taking this action, the Obama Administration is helping to address shortages in certain high tech sectors of talented scientists and technology experts.

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