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OPT Extension for students in STEM courses in USA

OPT Extension for students in STEM courses in USA

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There is some very good news coming for students pursuing Post Graduate studies in the United States. New guidelines impacting F-1 students are now in place and according to these rules, students studying in accredited educational institutions in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) fields are now allowed to work for 36 months under Optional Practical Training (OPT). The new guidelines have taken effect from 10th May, 2016. 


You can  check out the detailed policy here -


Most of the Indian students studying in the US, go for STEM programs. It is, therefore, a great step for all the Indian Students. The one thing that needs to be kept in mind is that the students are eligible for the 36 month OPT period only if they are enrolled at accredited institutions. Make sure that you do your research properly before you apply for any institute. 


Students who have already filed for got extension for 17 month OPT need to apply again for the extra 7 month extension. It is ofgreat importance given how H-1B visa has gone the lottery route because of a high number of F-1 visa holders applying for H-1B visas.  With 36 month OPT, the students can try their luck at least three times.


However, for students who are not in STEM tracks of study, the OPT remains the same at 12 months.



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