Director's Message: Recent Developments in Regard to STEM Extensions of OPT

If you have been following recent immigration news, you may have become aware that the current regulation allowing for a 17-month STEM extension of OPT has been vacated by a district court.  The reason for this intervention was a failure on the part of the Department of Homeland Security to follow proper procedure.  The court has given the agency until February 12, 2016 to address the matter.  For more details, please see http://www.jdsupra.com/legalnews/district-court-vacates-f-1-stem-opt-51055.

What does that mean for you if you are in a STEM field and hope to apply for the OPT STEM extension?  Probably very little.  The reason the court has given the agency until February of next year is because this will provide sufficient time for the Department of Homeland to work through the proper procedure now.  Once this is done, the court will presumably set aside this ruling and things are back to normal, as far as OPT STEM extensions go.  Should there be any developments of interest, we will reach out to you to guide you through whatever process may be needed.

In the meantime, please proceed with the assumption that all regulations and processes remain in place.  Apply for your OPT STEM extension in as timely a fashion as possible, and if you have questions regarding OPT, STEM OPT, or any other matter, please consult with your regular adviser at OIA.

Enjoy the remainder of your summer!

With best regards,

Tamara Felden
Director, Office of International Affairs