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US adds 22 new subjects to its list of OPT-eligible programs

A major step in the right direction, this policy change will help attract more international students.
BY BrainGain Magazine Staff Writer |   25-01-2022

US adds 22 new subjects to its list of OPT-eligible programs
Image Credit by Jeswin Thomas from Pexels

On 21 January, 2022, the Department of Homeland Security added 22 qualifying fields of study to the STEM Designated Degree Program List. This change will make many more international students eligible for the STEM OPT extension.

The new fields added include: Bioenergy, Forestry, General, Forest Resources Production and Management, Human-Centered Technology Design, Cloud Computing, Anthrozoology, Climate Science, Earth Systems Science, Economics and Computer Science, Environmental Geosciences, Geobiology, Geography and Environmental Studies, Mathematical Economics, Mathematics and Atmospheric/Oceanic Science, Data Science, General, Data Analytics, General, Business Analytics, Data Visualization, Financial Analytics, Data Analytics, Other, Industrial and Organizational Psychology and Social Sciences, Research Methodology and Quantitative Methods.

More details are available here.

All international students on F-1 visas can apply for a 12-month OPT both before and after completing their academic studies. The program allows them to receive professional training with a registered employer. However, STEM students earning their bachelors degrees can work for up to 36 months. This makes the OPT a very popular option for students from India.

Bridge programs also help international students build careers in their destination countries. And boost the economy by creating more jobs as studies have shown. Today, many tech giants in the US are led by men and women who arrived as international students a few decades ago.

This strategic move is also likely to improve international perception of the United States as an international destination and check the current decline in student numbers.



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