Practical Training Reform

 

The Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) added an item titled "Practical Training Reform" to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Fall 2017 Regulatory Agenda.

  • This is not a final rule, or even a proposed rule yet. Its appearance on the DHS regulatory agenda as something at the "proposed rule stage" means that DHS is working on a proposed rule, which will eventually be published in the Federal Register for public notice and comment.
  • The Regulatory Agenda item lists "10/00/18" as a target date for the publication of a proposed rule.
  • See NAFSA's page Basics of Rulemaking Under the APA for background on the rulemaking process.

The Regulatory Agenda item reads:

Practical Training Reform: "ICE will prepare this rule to improve protections of U.S. workers who may be negatively impacted by employment of nonimmigrant students on F and M visas. The rule would implement new requirements that would reduce fraud and abuse in the practical training programs. The proposed provisions include increased oversight of the schools and students participating in the program to ensure compliance with requirements of the program."

NAFSA and other observers see this initiative as linked to two policy pronouncements by the Trump administration:

Both focus on fraud reduction and U.S. worker protections, but leave it to the responsible agencies to formulate the specifics. Those specifics have not yet been released to the public in the case of "practical training reform." The language in the Regulatory Agenda is broadly worded as focused on "practical training," however, and could therefore encompass F-1 OPT, STEM OPT and CPT, as well as M-1 practical training. NAFSA will update this page as information becomes available.