Fri. Jul 19th, 2024

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Court Upholds F-1 OPT Programs

2 min read
H-4 Dependents

Recently, the D.C. Circuit Court decided for the U.S. government in a claim brought by a worker’s union, holding the F-1 optional practical training (OPT) and STEM OPT programs were lawfully enacted. The association ineffectively contended that the rule passed by Congress that made the F-1 program did not allow for any kind of work authorization. The court, however, found that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has the power to provide F-1 students with work authorization.

Background on F-1 OPT Programs

A qualified F-1 student might utilize the OPT program to get as long as a year of employment authorization. To perform work straightforwardly related to the significant area of study. OPT might be granted either pre-or post-completion of the program of study. In addition, an F-1 student signed up for a science, technology, engineering, or math (STEM) program. It might be qualified to apply for a STEM OPT expansion, which gives work authorization for 24 extra months.

OPT Program is Reasonably Related to F-1 Student’s Purpose of Entry

Under the OPT program, F-1 students are approved to work for one year in the United States to enhance participating students’ abilities. To achieve the goals of the study by allowing them to acquire significant information. And skills through on-the-job training that may be unavailable in their home countries.

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DHS also made the STEM OPT program, which grants F-1 students in STEM fields an additional two years of work authorization. Because they “need practical training in a workplace setting to operationalize their new knowledge.” In this manner, the Court held that the STEM OPT program is “reasonably related to an F-1 student’s purpose of earning the U.S. degree. Since it gives training for skills acquired through the degree program.


This decision by the federal appeals court maintains the status quo of the F-1 OPT and STEM OPT programs. This is a gigantic help, as the availability of OPT helps to attract foreign national students. Also, to pursue their education in the United States.

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