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Expert: DHS Should Waive OPT Filing Deadlines (Law360)

March 12, 2020 (1 min read)

Suzanne Monyak, Law360, Mar. 10, 2020

"U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement said in guidance released Monday that it will be “flexible” with visa rules for international students as universities close and move courses online to mitigate the spread of the virus known as COVID-19. ... ICE also encouraged foreigners working in the U.S. through Optional Practical Training, which allows recent graduates of U.S. schools to work in the U.S. for at least a year, to work with their companies to find “alternative ways to maintain employment,” such as through teleworking. However, a work interruption for foreigners on OPT could present issues for people with jobs that don’t permit remote work, such as engineers, according to David Ware of Ware Immigration. Speaking to Law360 before the ICE guidance was published, Ware also said the government should waive the deadlines for seniors to apply for OPT, an issue that isn’t addressed in the Monday memo. Those OPT applications must be filed no earlier than 90 days before students’ start dates for work and no later than 60 days after graduation."

- David Ware