Estimated number of F-1 nonimmigrants employed in the United States through the Optional Practical Training (OPT) program, 2013

OPT approvals Number of workers
STEM OPT extension approvals, 2012 15,827
Total OPT approvals, 2013 123,328
Total 139,155

Note: Numbers represent approvals of employment authorization applications for OPT. STEM OPT extensions approved in 2012 represent the subset of 2012 OPT workers who are authorized to continue working in 2013. Total OPT approvals in 2013 represent all OPT applications approved that year, including STEM OPT applications. 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; DHS OPT data acquired through a FOIA request

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