New US Visa Rules for International Students

NEW YORK: On Friday, the federal Government of United States changed the rules for non-immigrant student visas, saying that the international students will be now eligible to stay for 3 years after completing their degrees for training, that would potentially lead to employment.

Only students earning degrees in STEM (science, technology, technology, engineering & mathematics) from accredited higher education institutes & employed by employers partaking in E-Verify are eligible for OPT (Optional Practical Training) program.


The new rule is 7 months longer than of previous 17 months rule & comes into effect on 10th May, 2016. The extension is also intended to broaden the window of time in order to match the fresh graduates with employers who are looking for skilled talented workers.

Formerly, students had to apply for visa known as H-1B, given by lottery, & capped at 65,000 with 20,000 reserved for those with the advanced degrees.

This extension in visa was met with a diversified response even before it was issued as immigration reform & unemployment remain hot topics in the United States & wage defences are just one measure the ruling take account of for both international STEM OPT students & the permanent American workers.

Acc. to new rules, “a STEM OPT student wouldn’t replace a full or the part-time, temporary or permanent United Stated worker,” & that the salary offered would “be commensurate” to the American workers.