Update: The Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Optional Practical Training (OPT) work program extension began May 10. Companies across the country may now employ international students, skilled in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields, for 24 additional months. This program helps recruiters and HR managers overcome skills gap setbacks by hiring burgeoning talent from U.S. universities and colleges. Learn more about the new OPT extension in the blog post below, which was first published in early March.
The wait is over.
DHS just announced the OPT work program extension for science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) students will not only continue, but increase to 24 months, beginning May 10.
“This is very exciting news and something our clients have been waiting for ever since these changes were announced in 2015,” says Earl Reyes, a Envoy-affiliated attorney. “Although companies will still need to register with E-Verify and have a detailed training program in writing, the opportunities for foreign nationals are tremendous.”
Last August, a U.S. District Court invalided the 17-month STEM OPT citing by officials. However, the program was allowed to continue while the DHS revised its parameters.
Additional details about the program are available in the Federal Register. Here are some top highlights:
Interested in hiring an international student under the new STEM OPT rules? Please contact an immigration representative for more information.