The STEM international students in the US will face tougher restriction to take an OPT program under the new visa regulation. Consequently, they may have lower chances to find a job in the US after they take their degree.

Up to now, the STEM international students in the US who held an F-1 degree had the right to take a visa extension for 24 months. This was done thanks to the OPT extension rule which allowed this group of students to take a practical 24-months course in the US after they had completed their degree. The US has now introduced tougher criteria to take an OPT extension.

Under the new revisions made by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) these students will only be eligible to take such an extension if they find a job at the employers’ workplace otherwise won’t.

As their statement notes, the employer can only train the students in his workplace. This way the student is guaranteed to receive the proper teaching and the ICE the institution will be able to visit the work site and see if everything is aligned with working legislation. The off-placement working is strictly disallowed.

Among others their guidelines say

“The training experience may not take place at the place of business or worksite of the employer’s clients or customers because ICE would lack authority to visit such sites.”

Many people share the belief that this will weaken the chances for STEM international students to find a job. Their reasoning lies in the fact that a larger number of technology companies have recruited STEM companies and with these new rules they may no longer be the suitable employers.