Breaking News on OPT STEM Extension! Court Says…

Breaking News on OPT STEM Extension! Court Says…

Breaking News on OPT STEM Extension! Court Says…

Breaking News on OPT STEM Extension! Court Says…

Breaking News on OPT STEM Extension! Court Says… USCIS Rule Allowing 17-month STEM Extension is Deficient

A D.C. federal judge on Wednesday said the 2008 Department of Homeland Security rule that allows STEM graduates in F-1 status to obtain an additional 17 months of OPT time in the U.S. is deficient because it wasn’t subjected to public notice and comment.

The judge vacated the 2008 rule allowing the 17-month extension, HOWEVER, a stay was put in place until February 12, 2016. DHS will have until then in order to take action regarding the fate of the STEM extension program.

 

You may recall that the STEM extension was created in 2008 to help F-1 students who were not selected in the H-1B lottery by allowing them to continue on OPT until they could try for the H-1B again the following year.

 

The rule was issued as an interim rule without notice and comment because DHS concluded that “the ability of U.S. high-tech employers to retain skilled technical workers…would be seriously damaged if the extension … is not implemented early this spring.”

 

The judge determined that the situation for high-tech employers was not urgent enough to bypass the notice and comment requirement for the regulatory process. The judge further indicated that the deficiency in the process was serious enough to require the rule to be vacated (i.e. cancelled).

However, the court realized that immediately vacating the rule would cause thousands of foreign students to “scramble to depart the United States.” This would also impose a costly burden on the U.S. tech sector.

 

Since there is no way to restore the pre-2008 OPT program without causing substantial hardship for F-1 students and a major labor disruption for the technology sector, the court chose to stay the decision until February. This will also allow the Department of Homeland Security the opportunity to re-address the problems the interim rule was originally designed to solve.

 

. Now is the time to make your voice heard. If you are on Twitter, let’s all tweet: ” I’m telling @DHSgov to save the #OPTSTEM

 

The courts final judgement will be in the month of February 2016.so please tweet ….

 

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