Making The American Dream Come True

4 Options After OPT Expires to Stay in the U.S.

Posted by Karen-Lee Pollak on Tue, Aug 15, 2017 @ 2:30 PM

Many students who are pursuing or have completed their studies (usually a degree) in the U.S. on an F1 visa apply for Optional Practical Training (OPT). If approved, they are granted a student visa under which they may remain in the U.S. and work for up to 12 months in order to obtain practical education that compliments their education (note that at the current time, students in qualifying STEM fields are eligible for a 24-month extension instead of a 12-month extension).

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US. Customs no longer providing admission stamps for students

Posted by Karen-Lee Pollak on Fri, Sep 07, 2012 @ 10:15 AM
As of Aug. 10, 2012, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) no longer provides admission stamps on Forms I-20/DS-2019 for prospective and returning international students and scholars (traveling with F, M, and J visas) seeking admission to the United States. This change makes CBP processes consistent with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service’s (USCIS) recent change to stop stamping Forms I-20/DS-2019.
USCIS implemented this change as part of the launch of its online immigration benefits system, USCIS Electronic Immigration System, as it transforms the agency from a paper-based system to an online environment. ( USCIS Electronic Immigration System )

Although placing an admission stamp on Forms I-20/DS-2019 has been a longstanding practice at CBP, it is not required. While the admission stamps on Forms I-20/DS-2019 are not indicators of lawful status or academic program duration, some state and federal benefit granting agencies have required international students and scholars to present stamped versions. State requirements vary.

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DHS Expands list of STEM programs eligible for OPT

Posted by Karen-Lee Pollak on Mon, May 14, 2012 @ 2:27 PM
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has announced an expanded list of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) designated-degree programs that qualify eligible graduates on student visas for an optional practical training (OPT) extension. This announcement builds on a series of administrative reforms designed to further the Department's commitment to attracting international students.

"Attracting the best and brightest international talent to our colleges and universities and enabling them to contribute to their professional growth is an important part of our nation's economic, scientific and technological competitiveness," said Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano. "International students and exchange visitors bring invaluable contributions to our nation, and this helps empower the next generation of international entrepreneurs, right here in America."

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