Indian STEM students have obtained 56% of US job training slots in 2017. These students are pursuing Mathematics, Engineering, Technology, and Science in the US. They have thus dominated the scene when it comes to OPT – optional practical training participation.
The Indian STEM students can work in the US after obtaining their degrees through the OPT. They obtained 56% or 50, 507 of the total authorizations for STEM OPTs in the 2017 fiscal year. The top second were students from China with 24% or 21, 705 OPTs. Meanwhile, 500 and 400 students from Canada and Mexico participated in the OPT.
Overseas students in the US are eligible for OPT for 12 months, as quoted by the Times of India. Meanwhile, those who have STEM degrees can get an OPT extension for 24 months.
Indian STEM students in the US have significant dominance over OPT – US job training slots. The overall number of students from China in the US is almost twice of students from India. The data for OPT has been released by ICE – Immigration and Customs Enforcement in the US.
The ICE data for OPTs is derived from SEVIS – Student and Exchange Visitor System. SEVIS has data of overseas students and exchange visitors that includes research scholars.
The equivalent data for the previous year was not available. This appears to be a fresh initiative to enhance improved transparency. The prominent firms that hired STEM OPT students include Facebook, Integra Technologies, Microsoft, Intel, Google, and Amazon.
The Trump administration has enhanced its focus on the placements through STEM OPT. US Citizenship and Immigration Services continues to frown on ‘labor for hire’ arrangements. It includes arrangements where a bona fide employee-employer relationship cannot be demonstrated to the USCIS.
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