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The U.S. Citizen Act of 2021 includes two important provisions that significantly affect international students pursuing education in the U.S. Read on to learn about “Dual Intent” and “OPT Extension” and what they could mean for you.

Dual Intent Immigration

Many times visas are denied if a foreign student doesn’t explicitly demonstrate a plan to return to their home country after the completion of their educational program. In other words, they must demonstrate a single intent: to study. However, the U.S. Citizen Act of 2021 permits dual intent for F-1 (nonimmigrant) visa applications. With dual intent, students can be upfront about their intention of staying in America after graduation.

The OPT Extension

The OPT extension is focused on students in the post-graduate work program. International students that are on optional practical training and have applied for a green card would be able to apply for the extension of their F-1 visa status and also receive employment authorization. Consequently, these students can work in the U.S. while they wait for the approval.

The Bottom Line

The new immigration bill would open doors of opportunities for international students. International STEM Ph.D. students would also find it easier to stay in the country after graduation. They would be eligible to apply for a green card immediately after graduation.

Sarah Spreitzer, director of government relations at ACE, has told The PIE News, “The dual intent provision is pretty big, and I’m hopeful that that is going to be helpful in sending a welcoming message to international students.”

The future looks promising for individuals seeking education in the U.S. However, until the bill is enacted into law, it is difficult to say when the provisions would take effect and who they would apply to. For more information, call (818) 900-5707 to connect with an immigration deportation attorney.

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