International students now have the opportunity to work for three years after completing their education in United States.
The United States federal government changed rules for non-immigrant student visas on Friday, saying that international students will now be eligible to stay for three years after finishing their degrees for training potentially leading to employment and later Green Card.
This makes United States one of the best countries to study abroad when compared to other countries, like United Kingdom, which does not offer employment opportunities to International Students after completing their degrees.
This opportunity will be available for students who will complete their degrees in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields.
The new rule is seven months longer than old 17 month rule and will come in to effect on May 10, 2016. Extended time period will provide a successful transition from being an International Student to be an full-time American worker.
International students will have opportunity to try different jobs and discover how industry professionals across different sectors launched their careers in United States.
Here are some important points:
- Only students who earned a degree from a school accredited by a U.S. Department of Education-recognized accrediting agency and certified by SEVP may apply for a STEM OPT extension.
- Participating students who receive an additional qualifying degree from an accredited college or university can apply for a second STEM OPT extension.
- Participating students can use a previously-earned qualifying degree to apply for a STEM OPT extension. The prior degree must not have already formed the basis of a STEM OPT extension and must be from a school that is both accredited by a U.S. Department of Education-recognized accrediting agency and certified by SEVP at the time of the student’s STEM OPT application. The student’s most recent degree must also be from an accredited and SEVP-certified institution.
- Employers participating in STEM OPT must incorporate a formal training program that includes concrete learning objectives with proper oversight.
- Employers and students must report material changes in their training program.
- To guard against adverse effects on U.S. workers, terms and conditions of a student’s training opportunity – such as duties, hours, and compensation – must be on par with U.S. workers in similar positions in the same geographic area of employment. Additionally, the student must not replace a full-time, part-time, temporary or permanent U.S. worker.
- Students must work a minimum of 20 hours per week per employer to qualify.
- Students are permitted a limited period of unemployment during the initial period of post-completion OPT and the STEM OPT extension.
- All STEM OPT employers must participate in DHS’ E-Verify program.
Three years is a long time and International Students will learn more about the American job market and gain valuable and practical tips on establishing a career in the United States.
Most students find full-time job within a year after completing their degree and change their visa to H1-B, and later apply to Green-Card, which allows them to become American citizens.