DHS announced major changes for employers and F-1 students on STEM OPT

On March 11, 2016, the Department of Homeland Security ("DHS") published its new rule on STEM OPT. Previously, F-1 students who came to the U.S. and graduated with a degree in a STEM field were eligible for a 17 month extension to the existing one year of work authorization for their period of Optional Practical Training ("OPT"). As a result of litigation over the 2008 rule that authorized STEM OPT, DHS published a new rule that includes significant changes for employers, F-1 students, and Designated School Officials ("DSOs") at U.S. colleges and universities. The new regulations include a 24 month extension to OPT, a new requirement for a training plan signed by employers, a requirement employers report wages offered to F-1 students on STEM OPT, and provisions for the transition period between now and the rule taking effect on May 10, 2016 for students currently on STEM OPT. To read a detailed summary of the new rules, visit our firm's website and click the News and Updates tab.