Engineering Staffing Report: June 28, 2018

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OPT Program provides more STEM grads to US, outnumbers H-1B visas (Pew Research)

The number of foreign graduates from US colleges remaining and working in the US after graduation is growing and more than half are working in STEM fields under the Optional Practical Training Program, or OPT, according to a report by Pew Research. Their numbers are greater than those in the H-1B program. “OPT is one mechanism by which the US can compete with other countries for top talent,” according to the report. “It is less well-known than the H-1B visa program — which enables US companies to hire highly skilled foreign workers and is the nation’s largest temporary employment visa program — yet OPT approvals actually outnumbered initial H-1B visa approvals in recent years.”

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