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April 24, 2014

DHS Expands List of STEM designated-degree programs

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) recently 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.

Under the OPT program, international students who graduate from colleges and universities in the United States are able to remain in the country and receive training through work experience for up to 12 months. Students who graduate from a designated STEM degree program can remain for an additional 17 months on an OPT STEM extension.

The new list of STEM degree programs includes such fields as pharmaceutical sciences, econometrics, and veterinary sciences. The full list can be found here.

With almost 100 new programs added to the list, DHS announced its goal is to help bring the best, most qualified international students to the United States. The announcement builds on a series of administrative reforms designed to further the Department's commitment to attracting international students. Information on the other reforms is available here.

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Jennifer G. Roeper practices in the Firm’s Tampa office in the International and Immigration Practice Group.  Ms. Roeper concentrates her practice in the area of immigration, and handles all aspects of immigration law including temporary visa processing, applications for permanent residence and naturalization.  She assists corporate clients in maintaining compliance with U.S. immigration laws, and serves as counsel for clients facing deportation from the United States. 

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