Students not selected under the FY17 H-1B lottery who are currently working under F-1/OPT STEM should strategically consider taking advantage of the new 24-month STEM OPT extension
Below, I review some of the key points of this rule and offer action items.
- The new rule goes into effect May 10, 2016.
- Eligible students working under the 17-month OPT STEM must apply for the seven months extension between May 10, 2016, and August 8, 2016 (“the transition period”).
- Eligible students must have at least 150 days of employment authorization remaining at the time that the “I-765, Employment Authorization Document (EAD)” is filed with USCIS.
- Students whose current 17-month EAD expires between Oct. 7, 2015, and Jan. 5, 2017 could lose eligibility for the seven-month extension if the EAD is not filed with at least 150 days of work authorization remaining.
- The new rule requires that employers complete a new Form I-983 relating to the details of the training opportunity.
- The EAD application for the seven-month extension must contain a completed and signed Form I-983.
- Employers with employees seeking the 24-month extension must be enrolled in E-Verify.
Eligible students should contact their DSO as soon as possible for information and authorization to file for the seven-month extension and complete all the documentation required.