US to Expand Working Permits for F1 Student Visas

The United States is actively trying to recruit students from Asia—Indian in particular–and to sweeten the pot the Obama administration is putting forth new proposals to allow STEM students (science, tech, engineering and math) to work for a six year period after their graduation.


All foreign students who graduate with a degree from a program in the United States are currently allowed to work for 12 months; STEM graduates are currently limited to 17 months.

The measure is expected to benefit Indian and Pakistani students that most, as they are overwhelmingly STEM students.

The measure has not been without detractors however. Senator Chuck Grassley states that the proposal is not workable as it stands, since the program has been poorly implemented, making it inefficient, and lacks proper oversight, leading to greater fraud.

The problem, insists the Senator, is that these foreign workers would be working entirely outside the non-immigrant work visa framework, increasing opportunities for abuse by employers, as well as increasing the possibility for fraud by workers.

More blunt opponents suggest that the measure is yet another attempt to reduce the bargaining ability for citizen workers, who will have to work for less and less as the number of foreign workers increases.