DHS issues proposed rule for OPT Extension for F-1 STEM Students

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On October 16, 2015, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) released an advanced copy of its proposed rule for an extension of Optional Practical Training (OPT) for F-1 nonimmigrant students with STEM degrees. The proposed rule will be published on October 19, 2015 and the DHS will accept comments through November 18, 2015. The rule in its current form is a proposed rule and is not yet final.

The proposed rule would permit F-1 Students with STEM degrees to extend OPT for 24 months after the initial 12 month OPT period. This is an increase from the current 17 month extension available for F-1 students with STEM degrees.

The 24 month extension is only available for F-1 students with a degree in a STEM field and for employment with an E-Verify registered employer.

Under the proposed rule, the DHS would provide more oversight to ensure that F-1 nonimmigrant students utilizing the STEM extension gain experience that supplements their STEM knowledge while also ensuring that U.S. workers are not adversely affected.

For more information on DHS rulemaking or the F-1 OPT STEM Extension, please contact Kolko & Associates, P.C.

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Kolko & Associates is a full service immigration and naturalization law firm providing professional legal services to individuals and businesses throughout Colorado, the Rocky Mountain West, the United States, and the World. Our professional staff speaks English, Spanish, Korean, German, and Slovak, and we can arrange for translators in any other language.