UPDATE on Final STEM Rule: STEM OPT Applications Pending as of May 10, 2016 will be issued RFE

USCIS published the final STEM rule discussed in this blog post.  In publishing the rule, USCIS gave it an effective date of May 10, 1016.  The only exception to this is 8 CFR 214.16 which is effective from May 10, 2016 until May 10, 2019 (when it sunsets).  This section states that those OPT applications previously filed for a STEM extension that are still pending on May 10, 2016, will be issued an RFE to show that they qualify for an extension under the new rule (i.e. that there is a training plan, etc.).

This is important for those with a pending OPT STEM extension application as you may need to provide additional documents to show you qualify under the new rule.  However, if USCIS does adjudicate the OPT STEM extension before May 10, 2016, then that extension would be granted under the old rules.

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.

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