USCIS Final Rule Adds Greater Work Authorization Flexibility for Visa Holders and Green Card Applicants

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Update, as of August 1, 2016: U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services recently alerted 17-month STEM OPT holders that they can apply to add seven months to their STEM OPT period if they properly file their Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization (with the required fee and signature) on or before August 8, 2016. USCIS will deny applications filed after August 8, 2016. Click here to see all of the requirements.

The U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia has extended the F-1 Student visa’s Optional Practical Training (OPT) for science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) program until May 10.

Last August, the 17-month OPT STEM extension was invalidated because the government failed to follow the proper procedures in enacting the law. In an effort to limit the disruption to the thousands of students on STEM extensions, the program was extended until Feb. 12, giving the Department of Homeland Security time to recreate the program using proper legal procedures. Since then, the DHS has revised the program and proposed a 24-month extension of the OPT work authorization status, replacing the previous 17-month extension. The proposal received an unprecedented 50,500 public comments. Officials now have until May 10 to review the comments and pass a revised program.

  • We will keep you updated on the latest news concerning the OPT STEM program.