Great news for international students who are studying in the USA on an F1 visa, as the Department of Homeland Security has finally ruled that students can now extend their OPT program for up to 29 months in total. This new ruling allows qualified F1 non-immigrant students to now stay in the USA more than the normal 12 month program.
To be eligible for the new OPT extension, you need to meet the following criteria:
– Currently be participating in a 12-month period of approved post-completion OPT;
– Have successfully completed a degree in science, technology, engineering, or mathematics (STEM) included in the DHS STEM Designated Degree Program List from a college or university certified by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Student and Exchange Visitor Program;
– Be working for a U.S. employer in a job directly related to the student’s major area of study;
– Be working for, or accepted employment with, an employer enrolled in U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services’ E-Verify program. E-Verify is a free, internet-based system operated in partnership with the Social Security Administration that helps employers to determine the employment eligibility of newly-hired employees; and
– Properly maintain F-1 status.
You can see the full press release from the Department of Homeland Security by visiting: