As per the new visa guidelines, students who visit the US on an F-1 visa for education with accredited institutions under the STEM fields (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) can work for a period of three years as required under the Optional Practical Training (OPT).
The rule released by the Department of Homeland Security has finally been published in the Federal Register. This is good news for most Indian students as a majority of them visit the US to pursue higher education in STEM fields.
Limiting the F-1 visa extension to only accredited universities will ensure that fraudulent agents who send students to fake universities in the US will be kept under check and give a chance for genuine universities to enrol international students. Currently students from the STEM fields who have applied for an extension of 17 months for Optional Practical Training are now allowed to extend the stay period by an additional seven months.
For students who are not enrolled under the STEM fields of education, the Optional Practical Training period remains the same – 12 months. Increasing the stay period for F-1 students under the Optional Practical Training program would now make them eligible to apply for an H-1B visa. America has always remained a sought-after destination for education among students and the benefits usually accrue to both the US and the home country.
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