US Citizenship and Immigration Services said that applications for OPT (optional practical training) from foreign learners pursuing degrees in the STEM fields, or applications for its extension, will be processed more quickly.
The United States announced on Monday that certain categories of international students would receive priority processing for work authorization requests. This move is likely to benefit many Indian students who travel to the United States to study in the STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) fields.
US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has announced that registrations for OPT (optional practical training) from foreign students enrolled in the STEM fields, or applications for its extension, will be processed more quickly. According to a media release, premium processing will start on March 6 and will start on April 3 for several other categories.
Many international students’ immigration experiences will be simplified by the option of premium processing for specific F-1 students and the simplicity of online filing, according to USCIS Director Ur M Jaddou.
As we seek to improve operational efficiencies and broaden accessibility to the immigration process for partners, applicants, petitioners, requesters, and those we serve, the further expansion of online filing is a goal for USCIS, according to the official.
Community activist and proponent of just immigration laws Ajay Bhutoria has applauded the USCIS decision to extend premium processing to some F-1 students seeking OPT and STEM OPT extensions.
F-1 students who are looking for job permission in the aforementioned categories can now use the new online filing processes for Form I-907, Request for Premium Processing Service.
“This is wonderful news for overseas students who have faced protracted OPT licensing wait times. The move from USCIS should be a great relief for F-1 students looking to gain work permission in the country, Bhutoria told PTI.
“USCIS will now take into account Form I-907 petitions received on paper or online for some F-1 candidates who have an awaiting Form I-765.This covers applicants for pre-completion OPT, post-completion OPT, and the 24-month extension of OPT for STEM students, he added.
Bhutoria noted that beginning on April 3, USCIS would also accept new I-765 concurrently with new I-907 filings. The new processes are anticipated to speed up the OPT approval process and offer F-1 students more convenience.
These new measures will expedite the process by which F-1 students can get work authorization, which will allow them to contribute to the US economy as well as society, he noted.