In a big relief to over two lakh Indian students in the US, President Donald Trump exempted the Optional Practical Training (OPT) programme or F-1 visa category from suspension in his latest executive order on US visas.
Trump on Monday signed the executive order suspending non-immigrant visas such as H-1B and L-1 till December with the possibility of a further extension. The move was aimed at improving the employment opportunities for US citizens, as COVID-19 caused the unemployment rate to shoot up to over 40 million.
The new order will impact H-1B, H-2, L-1, J-1 and H-2B visa categories. However, optional training programme, which foreign students avail after graduation was left untouched.
Most Indian graduates in the US avail the OPT programme, which allows them to secure temporary employment in the US for up to three years after graduation.