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Immigration Law Update: DHS Requests Extension for New STEM OPT Rule March 9, 2016

Financial District, Manhattan
Immigration Law Update: DHS Requests Extension for New STEM OPT Rule, Manhattan, New York

In 2008, the Department of Homeland Society extended the Option Practice Training (OPT) program for students who graduated in a STEM-related field to 17 months. However, the U.S. District Court ruled that DHS neglected to follow the mandated procedures—especially collecting public comments— before making the rule, and gave the agency until Feb. 12 to submit a new rule. The immigration law attorneys at  Berd & Klauss, PLLC in New York, NY, report that DHS requested an extension in court on Feb. 19, which they said is necessary to review the more than 50,000 comments submitted by members of the public.

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According to DHS, these comments must be individually reviewed and responded to before a rule can be written and published. The large volume of comments received has made it impossible to submit a new rule before the 60-day deadline given to DHS by the district court.

The OPT program allows foreign students to work in the United States for a short time after graduating from college. Previously, they were only given work authorization for up to one year, but the administration intended to extend that period by five months for students intending to work in a science, technology, engineering, or mathematical field. If a rule cannot be formulated according to proper procedure in time, these students will no longer be eligible for an extension.

Berd & Klauss, PLLC provides a comprehensive list of immigration law services to individuals in a broad range of circumstances. Call (212) 461-7152 to schedule a consultation today, or visit their website to learn more about their legal services.

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