Home Science Biden Welcomes STEM Graduates With New Immigration Policies

Biden Welcomes STEM Graduates With New Immigration Policies

Biden Administration is ready to welcome the STEM graduates in the USA with the hope to have the leverage in innovation and development. Changes in the immigration policy announced recently have opened up the doors to new opportunities for STEM students. 

Biden’s Immigration Reforms

Immigration has remained a contentious issue for politicians on both sides of the aisle in the first year of the Biden administration. However, the Biden administration has made efforts to use immigration policy to improve the United States’ competitiveness in the global economy. The White House recently announced a number of new initiatives that will assist in utilizing immigration policy to do just that.

22 New Fields Of Study Eligible For The STEM

The Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”) will add 22 new fields of study. The 22 new fields will include everything from data visualization to forestry and cloud computing. Additionally, this will also offer a program that allows international graduates from U.S. colleges and universities to polish their skills with domestic employers by working with them for an additional three years of training. This program is recorded under the Optional Practical Training (“OPT”) program

Highlights Of The Optional Practical Training

Optional Practical Training is part-time work that is directly relevant to the major field of study of an F-1 student. Eligible students can apply for up to 12 months of OPT employment authorization before or after finishing their academic studies. Students must apply for a work visa after their year of OPT, according to current policy. As a result of these constraints, many graduates find themselves competing for one of the 85,000 H-1B specialized employment visas available in the yearly lottery.

Immigration Policy Spotlight Reason

The announcement contrasts sharply with the Trump administration’s previous practices, which increased examination of the H-1B program, frequently relying on allegations that the program reduced available positions for U.S. applicants. 

The current revelation follows a decline in overseas student enrollment at American colleges and institutions in recent years. Students pursuing STEM degrees in the United States will boost the American economy thanks to the additional 22 subjects of study.

A wave of opportunities is yet to come, and with this STEM immigration policy in hand, students can hope to have the much-needed support.


  1. “Optional Practical Training is part-time work that is directly relevant to the major field of study of an F-1 student”

    Optional Practical Training (OPT) allows the graduate (the foreign graduate maintains his student status despite having graduated) to work full-time, not only part-time.

    OPT amounts to the government offering a $10,000 per year incentive to employers for hiring a foreign college graduate instead of a U.S. citizen or permanent resident college graduate. This bonus takes the form of the employer being exempt from paying payroll tax for their foreign college graduates (due to their student status, which, again, they technically still have under OPT in spite of having graduated).

    By way of example: In 2017 alone, Amazon employed 3,655 foreign workers on OPT[1]. Amazon’s average starting salary for “entry-level engineers” is approximately $108,000[2]. Social Security and Medicare tax rates for employers is 6.2% and 1.45%, respectively (7.65% combined)[3].

    On one worker alone, Amazon saved $8,262/yr by preferring an OPT worker instead of an American worker ($108,000 X .0765). On all 3,655 OPT workers they hired in 2017, Amazon saved a total of $30,197,610 in one year by preferring OPT workers instead of American workers ($8,262 X 3,655). You read that right. $30 million. Why hire Americans, eh?

    [1] US Immigration and Customs Enforcement
    2017 Top 200 Employers for Pre‐ and Post‐Completion Optional Practical Training (OPT) Students

    [2] Tuttle, Beecher (16 April 2019).
    Comparing salaries and bonuses at Facebook, Amazon and Google

    [3] Internal Revenue Service (14 Feb 2020).
    Topic No. 751 Social Security and Medicare Withholding Rates


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here