DHS proposed changes to on job training program for overseas STEM students

October 17, 2015
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has proposed the changes to rules that will provide strength and enhances the process for the overseas students who study in US with the STEM degrees for getting experience of practical training in the US.

According to the DHS, the improvement of this rule was announced as part of the Obama’s Executive Actions in the November month.

DHS proposed changes to the program of on job training for overseas STEM students

DHS said that the OPT program allowed non-immigrant foreign students  and the new graduates for extending their time to pursue education in the US on their status of F-1 student visa for gaining the on job training for a year.  The rule that is proposed will allow certain STEM students with F-1 visa for extending their OPT period by two years with the appropriate training and mentoring by the employers. The rule that is proposed will also enhance and raise oversight over the OPT STEM extensions.

DHS also said that the nation will benefited by keeping the foreign students here, educated here in the colleges and universities of the US while receiving the additional training, rather than sending those students out of the country.

By increasing the access to OPT for the STEM students, the proposed rules will be helping the US colleges and universities to remain internationally competitive in attracting the foreign students in the STEM fields. It also change the program to better make sure that the opportunities of practical training are designed for meeting the needs of the students,  while need for greater accountability of students and employers.

The proposed rule is intended to ensure that the F-1 students would gain the precious practical STEM experience through the practical training that increases the knowledge gained in their academic studies. 

The new rules that is proposed also seeks for improvement and raise the STEM OPT’s oversight by requiring the implementation of training and mentoring plans by the employers and by adding the wage and other protections for the OPT students and the US workers.

The proposed rule will only permit extensions of STEM OPT to the F-1 students with the degrees from the qualified schools, and their employers are enrolled in the USCIS program for E-verify employment eligibility verification. – As told by the DHS.

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