Multi-Association Comments to U.S Immigration and Customs Enforcement on STEM OPT for F-1 Nonimmigrant Students

Wednesday, November 18, 2015 - 10:45am
November 18, 2015
Katherine Westerlund,
Policy Chief, Student and Exchange Visitor Program
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement
500 12th Street SW
Washington, DC 20536
Re: ICEB-2015-0002
Dear Ms. Westerlund:
We, the undersigned organizations, representing a variety of industries and small, medium, and large businesses and professionals, write to provide comment on ICEB-2015-0002, Improving and Expanding Training Opportunities for F-1 Nonimmigrant Students with STEM Degrees and Cap-Gap Relief for All Eligible F-1 Students issued October 18, 2015.  Our organizations find the Optional Practical Training (OPT) program very valuable to the continuing development of their workforce. In a recent survey of employers, over 87 percent stated that using the OPT program specifically for students in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) will help their companies attract and/or retain high-skilled graduates of U.S. universities. However, we would like clarifications in the areas outlined under the Mentoring and Training Plans, the Safeguards for U.S. Workers in Related Fields and the Site Visits.