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US expands post-grad work term for science and tech students

The US government announced recently a planned expansion of  post-graduate work term opportunities for international students graduating from science and technical programmes.

Currently, an F-1 student may only engage in post-graduate work (also known as “optional practical training or OPT”) for 12 months. F-1 students who graduate in programmes of study classified as STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) can obtain a 17-month extension of OPT as part of their F-1 status if their degree is included on the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) list of eligible STEM degree programmes. This proposed change would expand eligibility for extension of OPT by including students with a STEM degree that is not the most recent degree the student has received.

Please see US Citizenship and Immigration’s Application for Employment Authorization guidelines for additional details.

Sources: US Department of Homeland Security, US Citizenship and Immigration Services

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