LexisNexis® Legal Newsroom
DHS Announces Expanded List of STEM Degree Programs

" The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) today announced an expanded list of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) designated-degree programs that qualify eligible graduates on student visas for an optional practical training (OPT) extension. This announcement builds on a...

STEM Green Card vs. Green Card Lottery

"[T]he green card lottery is reminiscent of what America used to be without a formal immigration program. Immigrants who came to America through the centuries were like the plucky green card lottery winners of today. They took a chance and came to the shores of America. They were not scientists...

Wanted: Great STEM...and Tandoori Chicken

"Reforming a broken system, which includes legalizing the 10 million plus undocumented immigrants in the US, as well as providing quicker and more sensible pathways to legal status, could unleash even greater wealth. Immigrants of all stripes are essentially very entrepreneurial. An undocumented...

USCIS Interim Memo for Comment: Extension of OPT for STEM

SUBJECT: 17-Month Extension of Post-Completion Optional Practical Training (OPT) for F-1 Students Enrolled in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Degree Programs "The purpose of this policy memorandum (PM) is to clarify the eligibility requirements for a 17-month extension...

How Immigration Reform Could Boost Our National Defense

"Encouraging bright minds to stay in the United States after graduation, grow businesses and create jobs is critical to secure our country’s position as a high-tech hub and global leader in innovation. It’s also important to our national security. Recently, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel...

Dr. No vs. the League of Extraordinary Aliens, or Why are Ph.D. STEM O-1s Under Attack?

"A string of recent O-1 RFEs [Requests for Evidence], and NOIDs [Notices of Intent to Deny] from the USCIS California Service Center reveal a new disturbing trend. The best and brightest, including the very STEM PhDs to whom the Senate and much of the House would essentially just give green cards...

Debunking the Top Ten Arguments Against High-Skilled Immigration

"Despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary, a vocal group of advocates insists that the United States does not face a shortage of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) workers. The advocates argue incorrectly that high-skilled immigration is not only unnecessary but is actually...

Cyrus D. Mehta on Possible STEM OPT Extension

"Senator Grassley’s latest angry missive to the DHS protests the proposed increase of F-1 student Optional Practical Training (OPT), which was part of President Obama’s executive actions of November 20, 2014. While the Senator’s rant against any beneficial immigration proposal...

Opportunity Knocks in Disappointing Decision Vacating STEM OPT Rule for Foreign Students - Cyrus D. Mehta

"WashTec may have successfully been able to obtain a vacatur of the 2008 rule effective February 12, 2016, but theirs is only a Pyrrhic victory since the court has essentially endorsed the legality of both the 12 month practical training periods and any extensions beyond that." - Cyrus D. Mehta...

Advance Copy of DHS Proposed STEM OPT Expansion, Improvement

This document is scheduled to be published in the Federal Register on 10/19/2015 - Improving and Expanding Training Opportunities for F-1 Nonimmigrant Students with STEM Degrees and Cap-Gap Relief for All Eligible F-1 Students ICE Media Release, Oct. 16, 2015 - "The U.S. Department of Homeland...

DHS Proposed F-1 Rule: Cap-Gap Relief and STEM OPT Improvements

Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 201 / Monday, October 19, 2015 Improving and Expanding Training Opportunities for F–1 Nonimmigrant Students With STEM Degrees and Cap-Gap Relief for All Eligible F–1 Students "The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) proposes to amend its F–1...

Expert: I-Squared Bill Would Boost STEM-Based Economy

NYT, Nov. 1, 2015 - "In a letter supporting the Senate bill , 14 associations representing thousands of higher education institutions described an urgent need: “According to projections, the United States will face a shortfall of more than 200,000 advanced-degree STEM workers by 2018,”...

How OPT Became a Flash Point in the Immigration Debate

Karin Fischer, Chronicle of Higher Education, Jan. 20, 2016 - "Thousands of foreign students could be forced to leave the United States if a challenge to an obscure federal program is not resolved in the next few weeks. The program, Optional Practical Training, has become the latest flash point...

STEM OPT Rule Vacatur Extension Granted to May 10, 2016

WashTech v. DHS, Jan. 23, 2016 - "DHS’s motion for limited relief will be GRANTED, and the Court’s August 12, 2015 stay of vacatur will be extended until May 10, 2016."

Court Extends Deadline for New Post-Study STEM Work Rules

ICEF, Feb. 5, 2016 - "What comes next, according to immigration attorney David Ware of the immigration law firm Ware Immigration, could be even more interesting. Mr Ware anticipates that the proposed regulatory changes may well lead to further litigation. Since the judge had ruled that the 2008...

Advance Copy of F-1 OPT STEM Final Rule

This document is scheduled to be published in the Federal Register on 03/11/2016 - "The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is amending its F-1 nonimmigrant student visa regulations on optional practical training (OPT) for certain students with degrees in science, technology, engineering, or mathematics...

New U.S. Rule Extends Stay for Some Foreign Graduates

Liz Robbins, New York Times, Mar. 9, 2016 - "The federal government will publish the rule on Friday, saying that international students earning degrees in science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields in the United States will now be eligible to stay for three years of on-the-job training...

F-1 STEM OPT Final Rule

Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 48 / Friday, March 11, 2016 - "The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is amending its F–1 nonimmigrant student visa regulations on optional practical training (OPT) for certain students with degrees in science, technology, engineering, or mathematics (STEM...

SEVP Unveils Online STEM OPT Hub

ICE, Mar. 11, 2016 - "On Friday, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security published amended regulations on optional practical training (OPT) for certain international students with science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) degrees from U.S. institutions of higher education. The amended...

Cyrus D. Mehta - Suffocating The Foreign Entrepreneur Under The New STEM OPT Rule

Cyrus D. Mehta, Mar. 21, 2016 - "F-1 employers must attest that the F-1 employee is paid a salary commensurate with similarly situated workers and that: “(1) it has sufficient resources and trained personnel available to provide appropriate training in connection with the specified opportunity;...

News Excerpts From the April 1, 2016, Bender’s Immigration Bulletin

H-1B FY 2017 Cap Season Begins April 1 | USCIS will begin accepting H-1B petitions subject to the fiscal year (FY) 2017 cap on April 1, 2016. The congressionally mandated cap on H-1B visas for FY 2017 is 65,000. The first 20,000 H-1B petitions filed for individuals with a U.S. master’s degree...

GAO: DHS Final Rule re F-1 STEM OPT OK

GAO, Mar. 28, 2016 - "Enclosed is our assessment of DHS’s compliance with the procedural steps required by section 801(a)(1)(B)(i) through (iv) of title 5 with respect to the rule. Our review of the procedural steps taken indicates that, with the exception of the 60-day delay requirement,...

A Closer Look At The Form I-983 Training Plan for STEM OPT Students - Cora-Ann V. Pestaina

Cora-Ann V. Pestaina, Apr. 27, 2016 - "In order to obtain this new 24-month STEM OPT, the employer must have an Employer Identification Number (EIN) and be enrolled in and using the E-Verify program at the STEM OPT worksite. The employment opportunity must be directly related to the student’s...

Can a STEM OPT Student Be Employed At A Third Party Client Site? - Cora-Ann V. Pestaina

Cora-Ann V. Pestaina, June 13, 2016 - " The most frequently asked question in response to my recent blog entitled, “A Closer Look At The Form I-983 – Training Plan for STEM OPT Students” , is whether a STEM OPT student can be employed at a third party client site or at multiple...

Is Extended STEM OPT in Danger?

Laura D. Francis, BNA, Oct. 10, 2017 - "The “next target” of the Trump administration’s changes to the immigration system may be a work program for foreign graduates of U.S. colleges and universities, Stuart Anderson of the National Foundation for American Policy said Oct. 10....