Foreign Students Face Delays in Work Authorizations

June 17, 2019

Many international students are finding themselves unable to start their summer jobs or internships due to delays in processing their applications for work authorization under the optional practical training, or OPT, program, which allows international students to temporarily work in the U.S. after graduation, The New York Times reported. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services is projecting a waiting time of up to five months, a significant increase from the maximum 90-day wait period in past years (for context, students can apply for OPT no earlier than 90 days before they are scheduled to start a job or complete a degree). An agency official said “a surge in employment authorization requests” had resulted in a “small backlog.” USCIS said in a statement it had “implemented a plan to address this and return to standard processing times soon.”

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