Wednesday, December 16, 2015

STEM OPT Extension Validity after February 2016

As you all know the "old" STEM OPT extension has been invalidated by a court. While there is new STEM OPT 24 months under OMB regulations review, there is a lot of uncertainty about what happens to those who have an already approved STEM OPT after February 2016.  It seems from sources that at least one service center has mentioned that the STEM OPT already obtained prior to February 2016 which goes beyond such a date will still be valid.  However, there is no clear clarification on this because everybody was hoping that by this time the new OPT extension would be validated. Unfortunately with the present political climate, it seems that everything has been put on 'hold'.

We are advising our clients to take this news with a 'grain of salt' because the invalidated of the old STEM OPT was done by a court and the court did not mention anything about continuing on already approved STEM OPTs. However from AILA (American Immigration Lawyers Association), the Nebraska Service Center seems to confirm that they will allow those who already have an approved OPT (STEM) to continue using it after February 2016.

We sincerely hope that things are going to move forward in this area and the new OPT 24 months extension will come by before February 2016 to clear the confusion. If you need help with your OPT, H4 EAD or any immigration issues, please call us at (510) 742 5887.