STEM OPT Extensions and the February 16, 2016 Deadline

images.jpegAs we reported previously (see this post), USCIS was sued by a group of individuals who claimed that the STEM OPT extension rules (granting an additional 17 months of OPT) where illegal. The Courts have already found that rule making provisions of Federal Law were not followed and required USCIS to undertake a new rule making by February 16, 2016. While everything seems on track so far (Just recently the Office of Management and Budget finished their review of the proposed rule, the last step before publication), the question still remains whether USCIS will be able to get the new rule in place by then, whether the Court will accept the new rule and USCIS efforts and what happens to the people already on STEM OPT extensions once that deadline passes.

To answer that last question, USCIS had previously stated that the STEM OPT cards would remain valid after February 16, 2016 regardless of what happens with the Court. However, just recently, USCIS changed its tune, and they are now saying that the decision of whether those EAD cards remain valid is still under review. This makes the request that USCIS recently made to extend this deadline to May 10, 2016 even more important.

We will update you with any new information as soon as USCIS updates us.

Please remember, as always, this blog does not offer legal advice. If you need legal advice, consult with a lawyer instead of a blog. Thank you.

Author: Adam Frank, Esquire

I am an immigration attorney with over 20 years of experience. I was graduated from Brandeis University undergrad in 1990 and then spent a year traveling around Central America. In 1991 I began attending the University of Baltimore School of Law and was graduated in 1994. I began working in Immigration Law in 1998 when I joined a small law firm and, in 2000 opened my own firm with my law partner Ed Leavy. Sadly, Ed passed away in 2011. I am still a partner in my own firm with my current partner Brendan Delaney. Our firm is Frank & Delaney Immigration Law, LLC.

One thought on “STEM OPT Extensions and the February 16, 2016 Deadline”

  1. More importantly, DHS told the COURT that EADs issued under OPT extensions WOULD NOT be valid after vacatur.

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