US SEVP consults on further expanding STEM OPT fields

The US Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) is consulting the education industry on the possible expansion of eligible subjects for the STEM extension of Optional Practical Training (OPT) post-study work.

International graduates of courses which appear on the DHS STEM Designated Degree Program List are eligible for a 24-month extension of post-study work rights, on top of the regular 12-month OPT.

Earlier this year, the Department of Homeland Security, which operates SEVP, announced that an additional 22 fields of study had been added to the list.

In a Broadcast Message published on May 16th, SEVP invited stakeholders to nominate programmes for potential inclusion on the DHS STEM Designated Degree Program List.

Those nominating courses for potential inclusion are asked to describe how the field of study “engages students in research, innovation or development of new technologies using engineering, mathematics, computer science or natural sciences”.

In a policy agenda for the Biden administration published last month, the Presidents’ Alliance on Higher Education and Immigration, an association of more than 500 college leaders, called for a strengthening of OPT and encouraged expansion of STEM OPT into health-related fields.

SEVP has given a deadline of August 1st for submissions and will announce any changes via a Federal Register Notice.

Click here to read the Broadcast Message and instruction on how to nominate a course.

Read full article at Study Travel Magazine

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