US Court of Appeals Upholds Optional Practical Training and STEM Extension – Work Visas

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On October 4, 2022, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia affirmed the district court’s judgment affirming the current authorization of the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Optional Practical Training (OPT) rule ) a limited post-course OPT period. , if recommended and supervised by the school and approved by DHS, for eligible students on an F-1 visa. The OPT includes an extension for students in Science, Technology, Engineering, or Mathematics (STEM) fields for an additional 24 months beyond the 12-month OPT period.

Among other things, the court held that allowing foreign students to engage in limited periods of employment for practical training as recommended by their schools under the terms set out in the rule is a valid exercise of the authority of the DHS. The court also noted that “practical training not only enhances the educational value of a degree program, but is often critical to students’ ability to properly use what they have learned when they return to their home country. This is particularly the case in STEM fields, where hands-on work is essential to understanding rapidly changing technological and scientific developments.”

The court noted that more than 100,000 of the approximately 1 million international students who come to the United States undergo a period of practical training.

SOURCE: ABIL Immigration InsiderOctober 9, 2022

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