Associations Call on White House to Consider the Importance of International Students in Its Review of Optional Practical Training
May 21, 2020

Amid rumors that the Trump administration may impose new restrictions on international students who want to work in the United States after graduation, ACE and nine other associations sent a letter to the White House this week requesting a meeting to discuss the vital contributions these students make to our country and economy.

The president’s April 22 “Proclamation Suspending Entry of Immigrants who Present Risk to the U.S. Labor Market during the Economic Recovery Following the COVID-19 Outbreak"  suspended the entry of most new immigrants for at least 60 days and ordered a 30-day review to recommend new restrictions on non-immigrant visa holders.

The Optional Practical Training (OPT) program reportedly is among those under scrutiny. OPT permits international students to work in the United States for 12 months or an additional 24 months in a STEM-related job, usually after graduation.

The White House hosted a roundtable in March 2019 with business and higher education leaders, including ACE Senior Vice President Terry Hartle, to discuss the significance of international students and specialty occupations, including the importance of OPT. In the letter, the associations told the White House they would welcome another discussion soon, given the rapidly changing climate for both campuses and international students during the pandemic.

COVID-19 Policy Developments

Learn more about the higher education association effort to urge Congress and the administration to craft a comprehensive response that addresses the challenges students and campuses are facing.

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