Tag: Optional Practical Training

This week on JobMakers, host Denzil Mohammed talks with Dr. Liya Palagashvili, immigrant from the former Soviet Union, Senior Research Fellow at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, and affiliated research fellow at NYU Law. Dr. Palagashvili shares findings from research she co-authored on the Optional Practical Training (OPT) program, which fills the gap for international students between studying in the U.S. and being employed here through a work visa. The program enables America to retain talented students at just the time in their lives when they’re likely to generate ideas and start businesses, but recent legislation seeks to end the program. Dr. Palagashvili explains why such a move is counterproductive and even a national security threat. Instead, she argues, reforming and making it easier to access OPT would help enhance America’s edge in the global search for talent, and prevent that talent from moving to Canada, the U.K. and other countries – as you’ll learn in this week’s JobMakers.



Hundreds of thousands of foreign nationals, primarily from India and China, are working in the United States via the controversial Optical Practical Training program (OPT). This program allows individuals who entered on student visas to obtain work authorization for up to three years after graduation. OPT was not enacted by Congress – the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) developed the program at the request of Silicon Valley tech moguls who sought a means to overcome annual caps in the H-1B foreign worker program.

In this week’s episode of Parsing Immigration Policy, Jon Feere, the Center’s Director of Investigations and former ICE Chief of Staff, discusses the national security and labor issues stemming from the size and lack of sufficient oversight of the OPT program. He describes the fraud and lack of transparency in the program, including the large number of fake companies listed as OPT employers.