Amended STEM/OPT Regulations

On March 11, 2016 the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”) published amended regulations on optional practical training for certain individual students with science, technology, engineering and mathematics (“STEM”) degrees from U.S. institutions of higher education which will go into effect on May 10, 2016. Some key provisions include:

  • STEM extensions valid 24 months
  • Employers must develop a formal training program that identifies the student’s learning objectives and the employer’s commitment to helping the student achieve those goals (new DHS Form I-983)
  • Contains wage and other protections for STEM OPT students including authorization for DHS site visits
  • Only available if employer participates in E-verify
  • Continues “cap gap” relief for timely filed H-1B petitions

As more information is provided regarding these resolutions, GG&W will continue to advise accordingly.

| Employment Authorization, Nonimmigrant