Concerned international students in the US worry that OPT processing delays in Arizona and Texas could result in them having to leave the country because they won't receive the correct employment authorisation before their current visa status expires.
The suspension of certain visa categories could cost the US economy more than $223m, according to the AIE. Operators question an assumption that visa holders are likely to bring spouses with them on visa routes which attract a young seasonal workforce.
Sector stakeholders have condemned the latest attempt to undermine the Optional Practical Training program, highlighting evidence that shows OPT creates – rather than takes away – employment for US citizens.
A webinar organised by Presidents' Alliance on Higher Education and Immigration has revealed educators are worried about the enduring appeal of the country as a study destination if visa processing is not revived soon enough, and work rules are not clarified.
An investigation found that a handful of suspicious companies with unclear business dealings and virtually no online footprint were employing students through the country’s Optional Practical Training program.
Recent changes in US Immigration and Customs Enforcement regulations mean that designated school officials are now required to carry out an increased range of responsibilities, proving and recording that students are undertaking OPT workplace-based training in a relevant field to their studies.