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NEW YORK, NY—(January 26, 2022) Last week, the Biden-Harris administration announced efforts to expand opportunities for international students to gain practical experience and contribute their education and skills to the U.S. workforce. Building on the Joint Statement of Principles in Support of International Education issued by the U.S. Department of State and Department of Education in July 2021, these reforms include a new program to facilitate the research, training, and education of early-career exchange visitors; the addition of 22 new fields of study to the STEM Optional Practical Training (OPT) program; and the removal of barriers for eligible international STEM students to remain in the U.S. post-graduation.
World Education Services (WES) welcomes these steps to strengthen opportunities for international STEM students and reaffirms its recommendations to create more accessible pathways for international students to apply their education and training in the U.S.—including pathways to permanent residency for all international students.
“The new policies announced by the Biden-Harris administration send a clear message to international students that their talents and contributions are recognized and valued,” said Esther Benjamin, CEO and Executive Director of WES. “We commend the administration for responding to our calls for more welcoming policies that promote the U.S. as a leader in international education and hope to see the U.S. continue to demonstrate leadership by creating and advancing inclusive policies that benefit all international students.”