Work-authorized participants in the Optional Practical Training (OPT) program (F-1 visa), 2008–2014
|Year||Total OPT approvals||STEM OPT extension approvals (subset of total OPT approvals)|
Notes: Numbers represent approvals of employment authorization applications for OPT. STEM OPT extensions are available to F-1 visa holders with degrees in qualifying “STEM” fields (science, technology, engineering, or math). STEM OPT extension approvals are a subset of total OPT approvals. All references to a particular year should be understood to mean the U.S. government’s fiscal year (October 1–September 30).
Sources: U.S. GAO 2014; STEM OPT extension data acquired from DHS through a FOIA request