International students use loophole in H-1B visa application process to mixed success

img_0692At Penn it is currently spring season, advance registration season, Fling season and, for a few senior international students, H-1B visa filing season.

Although one of the requirements to apply for an H-1B visa, which permits foreigners to work in the United States in specialty occupations for up to six years, is to have a college degree, some international Penn students have exploited a loophole and can apply before even graduating.

H-1B allow international students to stay in the U.S. after the 12-month work allowance of their Optional Practical Training (OPT) permit expires. As The Daily Pennsylvanian reported on March 21, failure to obtain an H-1B has forced international Penn graduates to leave the country against their will. Continue reading

From May 10, 2016, STEM F-1 visa students can work for 3 years under OPT

IMG_2480NEW YORK: F-1 visa students who are enrolled in the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) fields of study from accredited educational institutions in the United States will be allowed, beginning from May 10, 2016, to work for as long as three years under the Optional Practical Training (OPT).

The Department of Homeland Security released its final rule in this matter, which will be published in the Federal Register Friday, March 11. The rule goes into effect on May 10, 2016, which means that all students who are either under OPT till that date, or who qualify for OPT by then, will be able to work further, for a period totaling 36 months. Continue reading