Inside Higher Ed speaks to UC expert about national delays in work permits

Federal approvals for OPT work in the US after graduation have slowed, causing some international students to lose job opportunities

Inside Higher Ed interviewed Ron Cushing, director of international student services in the University of Cincinnati's international office, about a slowdown in government authorizations for Optional Practical Training, or OPT.

Federal approvals for OPT work in the United States after graduation have slowed, causing some international students to lose job opportunities

The OPT program allows international students to work in America after graduation for as long as a year (three years for STEM graduates). UC had 1,130 students in the OPT program in 2017-18.

Students must apply for the authorization within the last 90 days of their degree program, but approvals can now take up to five months, following an internal rule change by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. Cushing said UC sees typical processing times of 100-120 days, which can leave students scrambling for work permits for jobs they have been offered.

Something's got to give there. If you're going to take longer to process them, let us submit earlier so these kids aren't stuck with job offers with no work permits when it comes time to start.

Ron Cushing, Director of International Services

You can read the full article here.