STEM degree list for OPT extensions expanded

News Release from Jewell & Associates, PC – May 17, 2012 International students who graduate from U.S. universities are able to remain here and receive training through work experience for up to twelve months. This is known as Optional Practical Training (OPT). Students who graduate from a designated science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) degree, who have jobs related to their field of study with employers who are enrolled in the government’s E-Verify program, can remain in the U.S. for an additional seventeen months on an OPT STEM extension. We covered the regulation establishing this extension in a detailed post in 2008.

On May 11, 2012 the Department of Homeland Security announced an expanded list of STEM designated-degree programs that qualify eligible graduates for this extension. The list now includes fields such as pharmaceutical sciences, econometrics, quantitative economics, and more. A full list of STEM degrees is available here, with new additions in bold, and will be of interest to students, employers, and employees with eligible degrees who are currently in their first 12 months of OPT.

© Jewell & Associates, PC 2012