A blog about U.S. immigration matters by Paul Szeto, a former INS attorney and an experienced immigration lawyer. We serve clients in all U.S. states and overseas countries. (All information is not legal advice and is subject to change without prior notice.)

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Friday, January 21, 2022

22 New Fields Added to STEM OPT Program

In line with the Biden-Harris Administration's immigration plans of removing barriers to global STEM professionals to work legally in the States, the Department of Homeland (DHS) expands employment opportunities to STEM graduates by adding 22 new fields to the STEM Optional Practical Training program (STEM OPT) today. 

STEM extension is a 24-month extension to the regular 12-month OPT that allows F-1 students who majored in a designated STEM field of study to have up to 3 years of post-graduate training with U.S. employers. DHS evaluates a student's science, technology, engineering & mathematics degree based on a designated STEM list. 

22 new fields of study have been added to the STEM list by DHS's on 1/21/2022. The new fields of study are:

  • Bioenergy 
  • Forestry, General 
  • Forest Resources Production and Management
  • Human-Centered Technology Design 
  • Cloud Computing 
  • Anthrozoology 
  • Climate Science
  • Earth Systems Science 
  • Economics and Computer Science 
  • Environmental Geosciences 
  • Geobiology
  • Geography and Environmental Studies
  • Mathematical Economics 
  • Mathematics and Atmospheric/Oceanic Science
  • Data Science, General 
  • Data Analytics, General 
  • Business Analytics 
  • Data Visualization 
  • Financial Analytics
  • Data Analytics, Other
  • Industrial and Organizational Psychology 
  • Social Sciences, Research Methodology and Quantitative Methods 

The update takes effect as of 1/21/2022.  

Some of the newly added fields such as bioenergy, cloud computing and data science are more or less modern extensions of the traditional STEM fields.  However, subjects in other disciplines including social sciences research, forest resources production and management, industrial and organizational psychology have also been added.  

The announcement is indeed good news for STEM graduates. 

(Immigration laws and policies change regularly.  If you have any questions regarding this article, please visit www.1visa1.com to schedule a legal consultation.) 

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