October 19, 2021

Volume XI, Number 292

Advertisement
Advertisement

October 19, 2021

Subscribe to Latest Legal News and Analysis

October 18, 2021

Subscribe to Latest Legal News and Analysis
Advertisement

STEM OPT Period Extended to Three Years

Department of Homeland Security has issued a final rule, effective May 10, 2016, allowing foreign students with science, technology, engineering, or math (STEM) degrees to extend their optional practical training or "OPT" period by an additional two years, on top of the one year already allowed for graduates in all fields.

This extension is up from the 29 months given under the current regulations. As with the prior STEM OPT rule, extensions are allowed only for students employed by employers who participate in E-Verify (the USCIS electronic I-9 employment verification program). The rule also increases oversight of the STEM OPT program by implementing new integrity measures including:

  • Requiring individualized training plans developed by the employer and the student;

  • Requiring the student to regularly report to the university's designated school official;

  • Requiring the employer to attest that the student will not replace a full- or part-time, temporary or permanent U.S. worker;

  • Requiring an employer to offer the same terms, conditions, hours and compensation to the STEM OPT student as similarly situated U.S. workers;

  • Allowing extensions only to students with degrees from accredited schools; and

  • Authorizing site visits by ICE to verify training plans, compensation and non-displacement attestations employers are required to sign.

The new STEM OPT rule allows U.S. employers to benefit from the knowledge and skills foreign graduates gain at U.S. colleges and universities while giving foreign students the opportunity to stay in the United States after graduation to apply what they learned in their studies and receive practical training.

© 2021 Bracewell LLPNational Law Review, Volume VI, Number 82
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

About this Author

Victoria Garcia, immigration, labor, employment, Bracewell law firm
Managing Partner, San Antonio

Focusing on immigration, labor and employment law for over 21 years, Victoria Garcia represents domestic and international companies in all aspects of labor and employment, and immigration.

Ms. Garcia provides clients with comprehensive legal guidance regarding business immigration matters, including (i) obtaining non-immigrant and immigrant visas for foreign employees, (ii) responding to inquiries, investigations and mismatch letters from the Department of Homeland Security, the Internal Revenue Service, the Social Security Administration and...

210-299-3546
Nelli Nikova, employment based immigration lawyer, Bracewell law firm
Senior Counsel

Ms. Nikova has experience with employment-based non-immigrant visas for alien employees.  (O-1 exceptional abilities, H-1 specialty occupation, H-2B temporary non-qualified workers, and L-1 manager transferees). She also assists employers through the process of applying for employment-based immigrant visas. She consults individual and corporate investors and has knowledge and experience with E-2 and EB-5 visas. Ms. Nikova has diverse client base, which has allowed her to gain experience with country-specific employment visas (TN, E-3) for Canada, Mexico, Australia,...

713-221-3326
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement