NEW YORK, March 11, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- In an effort to further build on the STEM OPT Program, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will publish a final rule that will extend the time international students can participate in practical training from 17 months to 24 months. The final 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 from degrees from accredited schools.
Additional updates/changes to the STEM OPT Program:
- Applications are only available for students who completed their degree at schools recognized by the accrediting agency and certified by SEVP.
- Applications for a second extension are available for current STEM OPT students who receive an additional qualifying degree from an accredited college or university.
- Participation from STEM OPT employers must include training programs with concrete learning objectives with proper oversight.
- New criteria to safeguard against adverse effects on U.S. workers have been added.
- 20 hour minimum work weeks are required by students in the STEM OPT Program.
- Limited unemployment is accepted during the initial period of post-completion OPT and the STEM OPT extension.
- Employers of all STEM OPT students must participate in DHS' E-Verify program.
For more program changes and information on the final rule visit: https://www.ice.gov/news/releases/sevp-stem-opt
Our office is pleased to assist foreign students, employers and all those impacted by the new STEM OPT rules. Barst Mukamal & Kleiner LLP is an international immigration law firm based in New York City. Founded in 1930, BMK LLP is one of the oldest and most established immigration firms in the country, and one of very few firms of its boutique size offering a stand-alone immigration law practice. Our team of experienced attorneys assists clients with a range of complex legal matters concerning visa options, permanent residency, labor certification, and enforcement issues. Please contact us using our quick contact sheet or speak to one of our attorneys directly by calling 646-679-4980 or our toll free number, 888-506-1291.
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SOURCE Barst Mukamal & Kleiner LLP