09. Mar. 2016

This is our final update, we hope.  See STEM EAD Update #3.

The new rule concerning STEM OPT EAD extension will be published tomorrow and the new rule will allow graduates of U.S. universities with a STEM degree, working for E-Verify enrolled employers, to extend their OPT by 24 months.  

The new rule will take effect on May 10, 2016, which means previously issued STEM EADs will continue to be valid without any interruption, and USCIS will continue to accept STEM EADs without interruption.

The new rule allows such F-1 STEM students who have elected to pursue 12 months of OPT in the United States to extend the OPT period by 24 months (STEM OPT extension). This 24-month extension replaces the 17-month STEM OPT extension previously available to STEM graduates. The rule also improves and increases oversight over STEM OPT extensions by requiring the implementation of formal training plans by employers, adding wage and other protections for STEM OPT students and U.S. workers, and allowing extensions only to students with degrees from accredited schools.