Among the things that can impact what sorts of immigration issues are present for a foreign student studying here in America is what field they are studying in. There are a wide range of fields international students study in in the United States.
Certain fields can raise some unique immigration issues for international students. Among these are fields in science, technology, engineering or mathematics (STEM). One reason for this is that U.S. immigration law provides certain STEM students with some special options related to Optional Practical Training that aren’t available to students in other fields. Also, getting a degree in a STEM field might impact what kinds of work visas a person might be able to pursue following their studies.
Recent federal data indicates that the U.S. has recently seen an increase in the number of international students pursuing STEM degrees at the nation’s schools.
According to the data, the number of international students studying for a degree in a STEM field in the U.S. totaled out to around 514,000 in May of this year. This makes up over two-fifths of all F-status and M-status international students studying in the U.S. that month. This is also 8 percent higher than the STEM international student total from May 2016. This increase considerably outpaces the year-over-year increase the U.S. saw this May when it comes to F/M international students as a whole, which was only 2 percent.
Why do you think the U.S. has seen such a big jump in students studying in STEM fields in recent times?