22 New fields of study added for international students

22 New fields of study added for international students
  • The United States Department of Homeland Security has added 22 new subjects to the STEM optional practical training program for international students to enhance the contributions of non-immigrant students in the STEM field and support the growth of innovation and economy.
  • Candidates who hold F-1 visas at US universities are eligible for OPT – a temporary employment opportunity in the applicant’s core area of study. The STEM OPT program allows the students who earn Bachelor’s, Master’s or Doctoral degrees in selected fields to remain in the US for 36 months and work in their area of study.
  • To receive up to 12 months of OPT employment authorization, all international students can apply before or after completing their studies. OPT allows Indian students to work in the US after their studies and according to the 2020 survey, 81,173 students were enrolled for OPT.
  • The US will gain economic benefits on adding 22 new fields and the information on these new fields will be communicated to students and schools via federal register notice. The complex challenges of today’s world can be solved using STEM innovation and help us in making a difference in how we secure and protect the country.
  • The number and diversity of students who excel in STEM education are being expanded and the DHS is updating and issuing new US Citizenship and Immigration Services policy manual guidance. STEM graduates and entrepreneurs can use the national interest waiver for immigrant visas that are employment-based.
  • This updated guidance makes it easy for the non-citizens with the required skills to embark on a pathway to obtain lawful permanent resident status in the US. A policy manual update is also issued by the USCIS related to O-1A non-immigrant status for non-citizens of extraordinary ability in fields of education, arts, science, athletics and business.

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