US ICE Announced Expanded List of STEM Degree Programs

US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has published an expanded list of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) degree programs that qualify F-1 Optional Practical Training (OPT) students to extend their OPT for another 17 months. Under the OPT program, foreign graduates may obtain up to one year of post-graduation work authorization in the US for up to 12 months, and if they qualify under the STEM program and their employers participate in E-Verify, then they may apply for an additional 17-month period. This STEM extension was instituted to address shortages of talented foreign students in the STEM fields in the US. The expanded list includes fields such as Neuroscience, Medical Informatics, Pharmaceutics and Drug Design.