Administration touts immigration rules change

By SUZANNE GAMBOA | May 13, 2011 | 12:58 PM EDT

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration is making it possible for more foreign students studying in the U.S. on visas to stay and get practical training in their career fields.

The administration is expanding the list of science, technology, engineering and math degrees that allow foreign students who earn them to stay in the U.S. up to 17 months after graduating. Those months can be spent working. The time also could mean the student may not have to leave before getting an H-1B visa, a visa reserved for high-skilled workers that can last for up to six years.

The administration announced the change late Thursday, just days after President Barack Obama gave a speech on immigration in El Paso, Texas.