Magazine article International Educator

U.S. Department of Homeland Security Publishes Final STEM OPT Rule

Magazine article International Educator

U.S. Department of Homeland Security Publishes Final STEM OPT Rule

Article excerpt

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security on March 11, 2016, published the muchanticipated final science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) optional practical training (OPT) rule. The effective date is May 10, 2016. The rule contains specific provisions addressing the transition from the current 17-month STEM OPT system to the new 24-month system.

The 17-month STEM OPT rule remains effective through May 9, 2016, and will continue to govern STEM OPT extensions approved prior to May 10, 2016, and for which a 7-month extension was not requested.

The 24-month extension, when combined with the period of standard postcompletion OPT that must precede an application for STEM OPT, allows qualifying STEM students up to 36 months of postcompletion optional practical training.

After completing another qualifying degree at a higher degree level and receiving another period of standard postcompletion OPT based on that degree, a student would be eligible for one more 24-month STEM OPT extension. …

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