OPT政策改革这件事上,有多少美国组织在力挺留学生?

October 10, 2019

今年8月,美国国际教育协会(NAFSA)和高等教育和移民之美国校长联盟(The Presidents's Alliance for Higher Education and Immigration)发表声明称,美国联邦法院正在考虑废除持F-1签证留学生毕业后的工作实习许可(OPT)。该声明中指出,华盛顿技术工人联盟(Washtech)在十多年前对美国国土安全部(DHS)提起诉讼,称DHS无权授予持F-1签证的留学生工作许可,这有损于美国本土员工的利益;且指出2008年STEM-OPT规则的制定不符合常规流程,缺少了公示和评论环节。

 

地方法院于今年7月1日对该案件做出裁决,允许WashTech对OPT和STEM OPT的合法性提出质疑。若Washtech的诉讼成功,针对留学生的OPT可能会终止。

 

目前,美国国际教育协会(NAFSA)和高等教育和移民之美国校长联盟(The Presidents's Alliance for Higher Education and Immigration)正在收集对保留OPT的支持声音,最后的截止日期为10月11日。学校和机构可在线填写相关信息提交意见。

 

OPT为何会遭取消?

 

早在今年6月16日,美国一名共和党国会议员提出一项重大改革议案,建议美国联邦政府修改《移民与国籍法》,取消对留美学生发放可在美国工作长达3年的OPT。

 

OPT为留学生提供了在美合法工作的机会,是留学生留美发展的主要途径。数据显示,近年来OPT的申请人数较2008年增长了400%,每年使用OPT的留学生多达20多万,占据了美国每年进入就业市场的大学毕业生的10%。这一现象与一直想减少外国劳动力的川普政府政策背道而驰,使OPT也成了被重点打击的对象。

 

此外,由于OPT主要靠公司和学校自行监督,利用OPT“钻空子”的现象也愈发频繁,使得各机构对OPT的监管力度不断加强。例如,近期移民局对OPT的审理时间不断延长,STEM OPT也开始面临美国移民和海关执法局(ICE)的实地考察,来全面打击OPT的滥用现象。

 

OPT的未来走向

 

若OPT完全取消,将把大部分留学生推向其他国家,直接威胁到美国在国际教育中的领先地位。从2004年至2016年间持OPT在美工作的150万名留学生中,53%来自STEM专业。因此,OPT取消将会影响高技能人才的去留,对美国高技术产业带来极大冲击。

 

目前,取消OPT的决策不断被推进,但我们预计短期内通过的概率不高。未来OPT可能不会被彻底废除,但OPT极有可能和其他签证一样,出现审核的标准变严、审查周期延长及拒签概率上升的情况。

 

我们也会密切关注相关动态,及时带来OPT的最新消息。若您有任何疑问,欢迎点击此处与专业律师预约咨询。

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