In August 2015, a U.S. District Court found DHS had failed to provide notice and invite public comment when it promulgated the 2008 STEM OPT extension rule, which to date has enabled thousands of F-1 students with degrees in the STEM fields to receive a 17 month extension to their existing one year of work authorization in the U.S. following graduation. As part of this recent District Court ruling, the judge ordered that the 17 month STEM OPT extension program be vacated as of February 12, 2016 unless DHS corrects its procedural deficiency. In October 2015, DHS published the new proposed STEM OPT rule and has since received an astounding 50,500 comments. On December 22, 2015, DHS filed a motion requesting the court permit the existing STEM OPT extension program to continue until May 10, 2016 to enable the agency time to address a majority of the comments received when publishing its final rule. DHS's request would allow an additional 30 days to complete the rulemaking and 60 days to train agency personnel on the new STEM OPT requirements, as well as prepare training aids and material for foreign students, U.S. schools and U.S. employers.
Iandoli Desai & Cronin P.C. will keep you informed of all updates related to the STEM OPT litigation on our website at www.iandoli.com/newsandupdates.