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The US is allowing more foreign students to work to support the economy

The US is allowing more foreign students to work to support the economy

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Washington (AFP) – The Department of Homeland Security announced Friday that the United States is adding 22 majors to its internship program for foreign students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics “to support economic growth and innovation.”

This program, called STEM Optional Practical Training (OPT), allows students with bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degrees in specific fields of study to live in the United States for up to 36 months to work in their major.

“STEM innovation allows us to solve the complex challenges we face today and make a difference in how we ensure security and protect our country,” Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mallorcas said in a statement.

Among the 22 new fields of study, bioenergy, forestry, production and management of forest resources, human-centered technological design, cloud computing, anthropology, climate science, systems science, economics and computer science, environmental geosciences, biology, geography, and environment. Studies, Mathematical Economics, Atmospheric Sciences, or various data science disciplines.

These long-awaited decisions “on immigration will have a positive economic impact and help the United States compete more effectively in the twenty-first century, encourage entrepreneurship and innovation, and also benefit the country during the current labor shortage.” The workload is unprecedented, Jeremy Robbins, director of the American Immigration Council, said in a statement.

The United States has been facing a labor shortage for months, with staffing problems, especially for low-paid jobs, in the context of an epidemic that has increased retirements and caused a phenomenon known as major resignations, when employed workers change jobs in search. better conditions.

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On the other hand, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is updating the guide to show how foreigners who possess the necessary skills, such as some STEM graduates and entrepreneurs, can use the National Interest Waiver to obtain an immigrant visa. employment.

The update also eases the path to permanent residence in the United States.