Supreme Court rejects challenge to foreign graduate visa program

The U.S. Supreme Court has declined to hear a legal challenge against the Optional Practical Training (OPT) program,

The program allows foreign students graduating from U.S. colleges to work in the country for up to three years. OPT provides graduates with practical employment experience in their fields, with an initial one-year period that can be extended to an additional 24 months for those in specific STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) fields.

The lawsuit was brought by the Washington Alliance of Technology Workers (WashTech), which argued that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security did not have the authority to create the program without congressional approval and that it created unfair competition among workers.

WashTech had previously challenged OPT in 2014, resulting in a federal court finding that the Department of Homeland Security had not followed proper regulatory procedures to create the rule. The program later went through the regulatory process and was codified in May 2016. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit upheld the program in 2022, and the Supreme Court’s decision not to hear the case effectively ends the union’s challenge.

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