US Supreme Court Upholds STEM OPT Program

US Supreme Court Refuses hearing on OPT Program

US Supreme Court : In a significant development for international STEM students in the United States, the Supreme Court has declined to review a challenge to the Optional Practical Training (OPT) program.

This program allows international students in the US on student visas to work during their studies or for up to one year after graduating, serving as a vital pathway for them to secure job opportunities in the country.

US Supreme Court Student Visa Updates

The focal point of the case revolved around the extension of the OPT program, which permits an extension of up to 36 months after graduation. This extension was initially introduced by the Department of Homeland Security in 2008 and underwent modifications in 2016.

Notably, this extended period was exclusively available to students pursuing careers in science, technology, engineering, or mathematics (STEM) fields, making it particularly appealing to technology companies and related industries. The STEM OPT extension not only streamlines the recruitment process for technology employers but also allows visa holders to pursue green card applications while residing in the United States, offering a route to permanent residency akin to H-1B visa holders.

Detractors argue that what was initially designed to provide students with practical experience in their respective fields has evolved into a sizable temporary worker program, lacking adequate safeguards to safeguard American workers and students.

The Supreme Court’s decision maintains the current state of the OPT program, representing a significant victory for international students and the technology sector. However, it also continues to ignite debates about its potential impact on the American workforce.

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