OPT Stem Extension Vacated official Court Ruling 2015

News: 17 Month OPT STEM Extension Rule Cancellation by US District Court

In CPT| OPT| On-Campus by Kumar111 Comments

Updated : October 5th, 2015

There has been so much of news and confusion around the 17 month OPT extension cancellation by US District court.  Some feel the news is fake as the document does not have signature…Below is the summary.  To clarify, the news is real and there is so much of press coverage. This is developing news and we will keep the article up to date as info changes.

Updated : On October 2nd, DHS submitted the formal OPT STEM Extension rule re-issue details to OMB office. Check all details here

Background Information – What is 17 Month OPT extension? When was it passed by USCIS?

OPT stands for Optional Practical Training and it lets F1 students to work in US after their graduation ( or before) for 12 months. OPT is given to anyone who completes a degree like Bachelors, MS, MBA, or PhD from US Universities.  Also, if the degree you get falls under STEM ( Science, Technology, Engineering or Mathematics ) category, the F1 student can apply for a 17 month extension of the OPT. This extension rule was passed by USCIS in April of 2008.   The important thing to know is that this rule was issued as an interim rule without following the standard rule making process by Dept. of Homeland Security as this was created around that time of H1B lottery situation to help F1 students not selected in lottery to work on OPT for another year until they get another chance to file H1B and maybe try lottery next year.

You may read F1 working options of OPT vs CPT  to understand the general program info.

Some are claiming that this is fake news as it does not have signature and not covered by mainstream news. Unfortunately, they are wrong ! Below is the exact case judgement published on Court Website. You may look for Date 8/12/2015

OPT Stem Extension Vacated official Court Ruling 2015

Summary of the News of Cancellation of 17 Month OPT by Federal Court Judge:

  • Washington Alliance of Technology Workers, a collective-bargaining organization, has sued US Department of Homeland Security ( DHS) in March 2014 that the 17 month OPT extension rule that was passed by DHS in April 2008 did not follow standard rule making process like notice and comment period and it is invalid.
  • The argument by the Washington Alliance of Tech workers is that DHS has exceeded their statutory authority and passed the 17 month OPT extension rule without going through the standard process and it has to be cancelled or revoked.
  • The federal judge at the US District Court for the District of Columbia after reviewing the case and arguments gave judgment that there was no urgent need for DHS to bypass the standard process of rulemaking for the 17 month OPT extension interim rule and it has to be “vacated” ( cancelled ). “Vacated” in legal terms means that it has to be cancelled.
  • The judgment also says that, if the 17 month OPT extension rule is immediately cancelled or vacated, it will impact the US tech sector businesses and the students. To help the situation, the judge has given 6 months period for DHS to correct the previous mistake and formally follow all the process to make the rule like notice and comment period. For now, the current 17 month OPT rule will continue to be valid until February 12, 2016. This is basically is the stay period.  If DHS does not take any action, then the 17 month OPT extension rule will be invalid or revoked ( cancelled officially) from February 13, 2016.

Update on Aug 18th, 2015 : An article in computer world says that DHS mentioned that it is currently reviewing the rule and will give additional guidance on this in coming weeks.

Immediate Impact of the above OPT extension rule cancellation  ?

  • F1 Students working on OPT : It does not impact in any ways the current students working on general 12 month OPT.
  • F1 Students working on 17 Month OPT extension : As you read above, the rule passed in 2008 is still valid until February 12, 2016. So, nothing to panic or worry at the moment. Your status is legal and you continue to work on 17 month OPT extension status.
  • F1 Students Planning to apply for 17 Month OPT extension: Technically, as the rule is still valid, the process works like before and you should be able to apply as usual for OPT extension. We will have to wait for USCIS on the guidance. USCIS will issue any notice, if anything changes. So, for now, the you may continue to apply.

Future Impact – If this 17 month OPT rule is cancelled?

The impact could be pretty bad for STEM degree holders. If this rule is cancelled, it will not provide a second opportunity for F1 students in STEM Degrees to apply H1B for next year. With the recent whopping 233,000 petitions for H1B visa 2016 lottery, we can anticipate lottery for the next H1B Visa 2017  and if the OPT extension rule gets cancelled, many students not selected in lottery will have to leave the country after they are done with OPT. In 2008, these students in STEM category was about 23,000. In the last 5 years, this would have gone up quite a bit, so it impacts a lot of students.  The rule making process can be long at times if it involves congress and other parties, it took years for H4 Visa EAD rule. Hopefully it will not take that much time and DHS acts quickly.

All in all, this is the news and judgment from Federal Court, we are yet to get information from USCIS/ DHS regarding this and guidance around the same.  There are many unknowns at this point. We will keep this page up to date and share more information on the blog as articles around this as news comes up. Stay tuned.  Below is a copy of the complete case info.

Also, many of our readers asked quite a few questions around each one their situation, we have published answers for the most commonly asked questions. Check out FAQs on 17 Month STEM OPT Extension Revoked – Status, Issues

We are tracking all the news stores, articles, background, current updates on a page for easy access for everyone. You may check  : Latest News and Updates on STEM OPT Extension Rule on this page

What can you do to get White House Attention ?  You can sign the OPT STEM Extension Petition

What are your thoughts?   How will it impact you ?  Any questions ?

References :

Related Articles


Comments ( 111 )

  1. Krish

    Hi Guys

    This is krish . I am planning to come USA for study masters for jan 2017. But I am just worrying about new rules OPT stuff. Can any one please suggest me .
    Actual my intention is to work and settled in USA.

    Appreciate to your valuable opinions and thanks for your valuable time.!

    Krish

  2. Leah

    Hi there – it looks like a new rule has been released and will be published on the Federal Register shortly. Is the website below (and the document) legitimate?

    https://s3.amazonaws.com/public-inspection.federalregister.gov/2015-26395.pdf

  3. Paul

    Hi Guys,

    I just heard a news that they are about to propose a 24-months STEM OPT. There’s no official announce yet so no evidence but still a good news so far.

  4. Rohit

    Hi guys i recently received my EAD card after applying for STEM OPT extension.

    My EADcard was still in processing when the wash tech sued dhs .
    But my EAD card has end date of dec 2016 not feb 2016 . (got my card a week before)

    I hope this helps 🙂

  5. Potter

    I got my OPT STEM extension EAD approval for the next 17 months yesterday. So USCIS is still giving extension for the next 17 months. Dont loose hope guys !!

  6. Sagar

    I heard that people who applied for OPT extension are getting upto Feb 12 2015 as exp date.. Is it true?

    any one got New opt extension card ?

  7. Madan

    Hi,

    I have an option to graduate in December 2015 or May 2016. From the current scenario, which is better? Should I wait till May 2016 to graduate or is it better to graduate in December 2015? (Assuming, I have offers in Dec and May).

    Thanks

    1. administrator
      Saurabh

      Madan,
      In either case you will get the 12 month OPT initially. So irrespective of when you graduate, your 17 month extension cannot be filed prior to this rule going into effect.

      From H-1B’s perspective, you can apply for H-1B only once – April 2016 if you graduate in Dec 2015, and April 2017 if you graduate in May 2016 (you need to have already graduated in order to apply for H-1B under Advanced Degree cap). But I think you can still apply under normal quota in April 2016 even if you graduate in May 2016.

  8. olu emmanuel

    Kindly join the USCIS Twitter office hour today between 3-4pm @#AskUSCIS. Let all F-1 students who have stake in the ongoing issue raise their concern and seek further info on steps been taken by USCIS. Best of luck to everyone!!

  9. positive girl

    i have signed the petition, please spread the word————>
    petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/propose-proper-regulation-extending-stem-opt-022016-avoid-expected-shock-both-firms-and-students

  10. Thinkmore

    Well, I like your attitude of not assuming anything, but by logically exam the idea behind this action, DHS might not re-issue this or even spend the effort to review this. The visa policy is getting looser and looser where foreign kids can easily get into the country or the school they apply. But once in, if they wish to finish their degree(a lot of schools now delay the graduation process on purpose, read the news.) or get a job, or settle down, it’s getting more and more difficult. Why….it’s quite obvious, you get your money out of pocket, save US’ economy so professors can get paid, so the school can continue, so you could provide some free labor to the tech company, then bye bye, you are out of country. With that been said, easy in, hard to stay, easy out seemed to become a big scene of recent immigration policy. I hope they will do something to help the STEM students get the extension, however, the light at the end of the tunnel is not that bright…

  11. OLU, emmanuel

    30,000 votes to go. Spread the news, go ahead and sign the petition to fix and restore OPT STEM Extension, 9/13/15 deadline is very near. Click here (petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/propose-proper-regulation-extending-stem-opt-022016-avoid-expected-shock-both-firms-and-students) and ask current and intending OPT beneficiary to sign up. Thank you.

    1. Hari

      Expect same kind of reply in following link from whitehouse.
      We cant do anything through these whitehouse petitions

      Link : petitions.whitehouse.gov/response/building-21st-century-immigration-system

      If you really need something to do .. Host a roundtable event and invite an official and discuss the problems and issues
      Link: whitehouse.gov/issues/immigration/roundtables

  12. Renault

    I am interning on OPT and I have a PhD in one of the STEM fields from University of California. I have been struggling to find job for more than 1 year. I have applied to 17 month OPT extension, I just read that the extension will be cancelled on Feb 12, 2016, even if I find a full time job, any company would not be able to apply for H1B, this rule is causing me a lot of stress. I have a lot of loan ($40,000) to return, I will just give up everything and end my life after Feb 12, 2016. I can not take this stress anymore.

    1. Adrian

      Renault, please don’t take your life. The ruling is not retrospective and you should be allowed to stay on if your OPT STEM is approved. I spoke to a lawyer and was informed that this shouldn’t affect extensions granted before Feb 16, 2016. So make sure you secure your OPT STEM extension and you should get a breather.

      @Kumar: I understand that we discussed earlier that the ruling will probably affect even those who have a STEM extension, however the document doesn’t say ‘retrospective’. Or did you see anything that indicates otherwise during your review?

      1. administrator
        Kumar

        Adrian, Well, it is unknown at this point as we are waiting for DHS’s official response. Many of the prominent attorneys and news websites say that, the rule will impact everyone on STEM OPT Extension after Feb 12th, even though they have it approved. We need to hear from DHS how they will respond…Wish I had a better answer.

    2. administrator
      Kumar

      Renault, As I responded in other comment, do not worry much, nothing is greater than life. There are ways to handle any situation, we all just need to think of creative ways. DHS will very likely take care of this and re-issue the rule.

    3. Divya

      Renault, don’t let your life get affected by these US rules. You have completed PhD which can be achieved only by few passionate, dedicated people like you. Please don’t let US laws define your life. If you have a loan of $40,000, you can still clear it slowly even in India or any other country. But if you end your life, it will be only a burden to your family. Instead, your family will be very happy to see you in India doing something with your life. Remember $40,000 or any amount is not greater than your life. After all, it is money and the good thing is that bad times also end at some point in life 🙂 Don’t worry, life also exists outside of US (may be a better life).

      P.S I am in US and I might have to go back if stem rule ends and I have a loan of $45,000 to clear and I am not rich and and I don’t have PhD degree :,(

      1. Renault Chow

        I have been in the US for more than 10 years now, I have very close friends here, I am very accustomed to american lifestyle now, it will be very hard for me to adjust lifestyle changes because of this stupid rule. Unable to pay $40000 quickly + shattered dreams = depression (It was my dream to come to US for better life, I studied hard and finished PhD from a top research university, now my fate is dependent on some stupid rule and random number, not hard work!). I don’t want my dreams to die and be depressed for a long time. I hate that even with STEM PhD degree I still will have to go through capped H1B quota and compete with IT employees from India in random lottery (who have not spent considerable time in the US, please read about how Indian IT companies apply for multiple H1b’s for one applicant) . My PhD was funded by U.S Tax payers money (over $300000 grant money). I am now applying to Post Doctoral positions now, this will help me get cap-excemt H1b without stress.

        1. MM

          Renault,

          Think about the Americans who have lost their jobs since this outsourcing started in ’04. They lost/repossesed their houses by banks, family and have tons of loans to repay. I don’t hear them saying they want to end their life….Don’t be a whimp…You may have a better life somewhere else and so move on……

        2. Nuwan

          Hi,

          The immigration law is very unfair in USA.
          If you marry a US citizen you can get green card in 4 months. If you are working illegally and say you are assaulted ( beaten, knifed, attacked etc ) by a US citizen while at work, you get compensation and a green card.
          If you did hard work and got a BS, did TOFEL, GRE and again worked hard for 6 years to earn a PhD in US soil you just get 12 months to find a job and if not you have to leave the country. You tell me a what should be the path a person with some intelligence will select ?
          No wonder there are 14 million illegal immigrants in this country!

  13. shrik josh

    I have two H1 petitions, one from 2011 and another from year 2013.
    Situation is :
    H1 2011 : This petition is first denied and is reopened on June 2014. No status change after that.

    H1 2013: Case is approved, Visa stamping done , in USA for 1.4 years on that petition.

    My query is, can I use somehow the H1 2011 petition in future sometime, if my all extensions of current H1 2013 are over. Can I transfer H1 2011, when it is just in reopened state ? I really appreciate your response to this query.

  14. vishwanath reddy

    hi kumar, am planning to come in this spring,after hearing about stem opt vacated,shall i wait for six more months before the verdict or shall i take this spring only.am completely in confusion.please suggest me.

  15. parth

    i was planning to apply to univ for the spring 2016 intake . But this news has left me confused . Kumar please advice if i should go ahead or not ??

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      Parth, No, there is no need to change your plans. You should go ahead. Read above response and check that link too.

  16. TheOnlyGuy

    Whoever has signed the petition so far – if each one of them puts just one more signature on it – the threshold will be reached within a day.
    Think about it and put just ONE MORE SIGNATURE.

    petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/propose-proper-regulation-extending-stem-opt-022016-avoid-expected-shock-both-firms-and-students

      1. TheOnlyGuy

        I meant if every person who has already signed it places one more signature each using a different email ID – the threshold can be hit within days – don’t you agree? 🙂 If you agree please post and highlight this to the student community.

        1. Adrian

          Let’s not do that please. We are law abiding and ethical individuals who would like to remain in the US as long as the law permits. To increase the number of signatures we should reach out to more people.

        2. Josh

          this is how all indians try to solve the problems… Cheating, lying and etc. Disgrace to the rest of the humans!

          “It is so hard to find the job in the US”. Answer “No problem, let’s create bunch of consulting companies and hire everyone. No worries. As long as we are OK, why should we care about the rest?”

          ” Gosh, this exam will be hard”. Answer “No problem, let’s all cheat and get the good grade. After that we can all brag about how smart we are.”

          “Look we need to sign the petition. We need only couple more signatures”. Answer “No problem, let’s make another email and sign it over and over again.”

          Why won’t you guys do everything the right way? I think I found the reason why no one from India or Pakistan gets hired by a good company. Instead working low pay job for some unknow consulting company.

          Despicable…

          1. Desai

            Please do not drag all Indians in this. You are targeting the entire community based on maybe your bad experience. Unethical or ethical behavior is not because of one’s nationality. It depends on how individuals were brought up.

            You addressed every Indian and questioned their values and ethics, which includes me also still I am ‘requesting you’ not to be judgmental . This makes a difference!!!

            Best luck

          2. Ruth

            i dont think ur analysis is correct…many ppl from india are smart and qualified….i work for a company and probably designed the entire system here….i get paid the most….there are consultancies i have heard from some idiots but ppl who are gd dont generally even care about these companies…most of these consultancies are owned by ppl from south and some from gujarat…thats what i hear…and u will see most of indians in usa are from..there..dont blame entire india bcz of few…others dont do this.

        3. administrator
          Kumar

          TheOnlyGuy,
          No, that’s wrong and fraud. Please do NOT do such things. We should create more awareness and let everyone give their opinion.

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      Mohan, If he qualifies for OPT STEM extension, nothing happens at the moment, he can apply as usual and work after that. We will have to wait for the DHS response to understand what happens after Feb 2016

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      Mahesh, I am not sure how much that lawyer is right…The news has been all over the news websites and many prominent attorney have been posting updates on the same…none of them said that it is invalid…

        1. administrator
          Kumar

          Mahesh, Well, I guess you are not reading the references or source on the page at the end. I wish this news was not true. I have no reason to mislead anyone…I was a student like everyone for many years..Anyways, it is covered by many attorneys like Murthy, Computerworld, etc..Also, computer world article says that DHS is reviewing the rule and give update soon on how it will impact…There is NOTHING to grow up my friend, learn to write in public forum and respect others.

        2. goutham

          There is nothing to grow up Please don’t over react my friend.It is valid news and regarding sign and stuffs ,I wonder if you have a degree in US law.Lol

      1. Bharath

        Why hasn’t USCIS addressed this mess up yet? I don’t think this is a major problem. Like Kumar is patiently telling everyone here (god bless him!!), I don’t think there is need for panic and confusion. This is a problem between the DHS and federal judiciaries. They will sort it out soon.

        1. mahesh

          Bharath, I don’t know why this guy Kumar is trying to become a hero. Has anyone heard about this news in a popular news channel??Has anyone read this news on some popular trusted website?? How is a court order generated and published without a signature. PDF copies, I can generate 1000s in minutes…….

          1. administrator
            Kumar

            Mahesh, I am not trying to be a hero. It is news and it is what it is. You can be all our HERO, create something telling that this news is not true and generate 1000s as you say in hours or days…we will be happy ! Read the references and many attorneys blogs that cover this news…I gain nothing by writing something that is not true.

        2. administrator
          Kumar

          Bharat, The latest update given by computer world is that DHS is reviewing it and will give response in up coming weeks the impact. We have to wait. It will be totally taken care in my view, just a matter of process.

          1. mahesh

            Mr. Kumar, give me only one government website which has the news or update. Mr. Kumar, have you seen the document on any government website? Court orders are generally published in government website. Grow up buddy!!!

          2. administrator
            Kumar

            Mahesh, Check the article again, It is updated with the actual Gov Website Link and Court document published on Court website with screenshot. Learn some public forum etiquette my friend ! You have right to question anything, but not to belittle anyone !

          3. rahul

            The latest update doesn’t mean they’re reviewing it. They expect DHS to review and publish it by the end of september or early october. They’re just expressing confidence that DHS will do something before deadline. If you read WATW attorney John Maino’s comment you’ll understand how difficult it is to get the proposal out for public comment by October 15. They have to bring white house and perhaps congress into the scene to implement this again. Obama already lost his credibility on immigration reform by overstepping to allow illegal immigrants can’t do anything because it’s a conservative majority congress now. Well, September is going to end in two days.

  17. HJ

    The way out is to try emailing or getting your voice out to members of congress in your district. If they get enough responses they have to take note. Have your friends do the same. Post on social media and discuss. The problem is unlike illegal immigrants the legal immigration has not received enough coverage.

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      Yes, I guess this is critical. Voices have to be heard so that this becomes a focus topic, such that DHS acts on it soon and positively.

  18. Agha

    Dear Kumar,

    Thank you so much for the motivated reply i was so worried about my opt it will start on oct 5-2015 but read your reply you give me hope..I hope DHS take care of opt extension.

    God bless all of us.

  19. Karthik

    Kumar,

    My OPT expires on 18th Feb 2016. Assuming that the rule is fixed by February, would I have enough time to apply for my STEM extension and start with my STEM extension from 19th of February?

    Thanks for your time.

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      Karthik,
      We are still waiting for guidance from USCIS. But, as you may know, you can apply for OPT extension upto 120 days before expiration date. So, if you apply beforehand, instead of waiting till last day. I am sure USCIS will give some guidance around this once they outline the plan to re-issue the OPT extension rule.

      1. sai

        i dont think USCIS can sort this out that easily.. they cant say that we are trying to provide an opportunity to evade H1B due to high demand / lottery.. and OPT is meant precisely for learning experience in american job market. F1 is an non immi intent visa and providing more time for students so that they can change it to H1 which is dual intent, will not stand strong. i know every one will apply for h1 after f1 but uscis itself should not endorse it by providing unconstitutional advantage to students … so reinstating this extension is very difficult (if it involves congress then it would be impossible)

        1. administrator
          Kumar

          Sai, Lets wait for USCIS response, it may be too early to conclude anything. There is enough backing for this from the tech world as it disrupts their businesses and has economic impact…

  20. KC

    Hi Author,

    My opt ends on 1st Oct 2015, and i have applied for stem extension this july 2015 and is expected to receive it by sept 2016. Will USCIS continue to process the current stem extension applications. Or will i become out of status come Oct 2015.

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      KC, Nothing to worry, you will not go out of status. USCIS will continue to process everything as usual. The rule only gets vacated from Feb 12, 2016 as per court ruling. Do NOT worry, DHS will very likely re-issue and take care of this rule.

  21. AK

    Kindly review and sign the petition folks. Every sign is important.

    https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/propose-proper-regulation-extending-stem-opt-022016-avoid-expected-shock-both-firms-and-students

    Thanks
    A

  22. anish

    i was planning to apply to univ for the spring 2016 ( jan ) intake . But this news has left me shattered . Kumar please advice if i should go ahead and make an application to univ ‘s . Thanks .

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      Anish, I do not think you should change any of your plans. This only impacts the OPT extension and does not impact general 12 month OPT. DHS will take care of this and re-issue. In fact, Obama executive action of 2014 had plans to increase OPT period and DHS would be already be working on the same. So, do not worry, and go ahead with your plans.

  23. sahil

    Well I think all students who are in US now, whether they are on F-1 status/OPT/CPT period, they came to us and spend their money because US gave visa to them and it says that they can apply for OPT extension now they want to change rules. If rules would be changed then it should not effect those students who came before 12th feb-2016.

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      Sahil, The general 12 Month OPT is not impacted by any means. it is only the OPT extension only applies to STEM degree holders. I am sure DHS will take care of this as it was a procedural mistake and there is enough support for the same.

  24. Prakash Reddy

    Hi author. Well elections are on the way I don’t think govt will favor non immigrants at this time. I have few questions for you:
    Question 1) Is this a move to kick fake resume consultancy opt candidates out of country or just protocol and regulation stuff ?
    Question 2) If my opt is ending on jan 10th 2016 even though I receive my opt extension till July 2017, should I have to leave usa after Feb 16th 2016 ?

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      1) Well, it was filed by a collective bargaining group that protects american workers’ interests and is not related to any political organization. So, it is not directly related to that.
      2) Yes, if DHS does not re-issue the rule, you will have 60 days grace period to leave the country after Feb 12, 2016. There is nothing to worry, it is very likely that DHS will take care of this before that court ruling date.

  25. Raviteja

    Hi. My OPT expires on 15th JAN 2016. So, I am planning to apply for extension in September this year. The main problem is, I have a plan to visit India in the middle of November-December(3 weeks). What should I do now? I am thinking if it would be a problem at the time of immigration. That my current 12 month OPT will expire in JAN 2016 and extension will be in process still at that time.

    1. Adrian

      It shouldn’t be a problem. I traveled less than a month before my OPT expiration and was allowed to re-enter. However they did spend more time scrutinizing my I-20 and I also had to go through a secondary screening. I informed them about my OPT STEM application and all they told me was that if my application is denied, I will have to leave the country.

  26. Adrian

    Is there any clarification given about those who are already on OPT STEM extension that lasts beyond Feb 13? My OPT STEM expires on June 14, 2016. Will I be allowed to stay beyond the Feb 13 date if DHS fails to remedy the situation? I feel that is not clearly addressed but I could have missed something. Logically I shouldn’t be affected as it has already been issued and my card states ’17 month STEM Ext’. I doubt (hope) that will not be revoked as that may have a legal fall-out.

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      Adrian, So far no guidance has been given by DHS on this issue, we all are waiting for that info. As per court ruling the OPT extension rule will be invalid or cancelled by Feb 12th. Even if your OPT extension is valid till June 2016, you will not be able to utilize that as the rule is revoked or vacated as per court ruling. Once the rule is vacated, the students on OPT extension will have 60 days grace period to leave the country or have options to take alternative actions like enroll in school, etc.

      1. Adrian

        Thank you for taking the time to respond. I hope this will be sorted out soon and this uncertainty will be gone. It’s not the end of the world if we have to go back but the more clear direction we get, the better we can plan our exit, if needed.

      2. Adrian

        Kumar, please see the following link – natlawreview.com/article/federal-court-ruling-puts-stem-opt-extension-jeopardy. The author, who is an immigration lawyer, interprets the ruling to not impact individuals who already have received an OPT STEM extension. Of course I have a definite bias in agreeing with his interpretation, but nowhere in the court ruling is anything mentioned about authorization already given. I also feel that it will not reflect well on the DHS and US government if an authorization it grants, in my case a 17 month work extension, be rescinded. This could also provide grounds to file suit for damages and I doubt DHS would want to risk potential lawsuits.

  27. Jay

    Hi,

    My OPT started on Feb 12th, 2015 and ends on Feb 11th, 2016. So I can apply for the OPT extension? As the rule says we can apply before 3-4 months of the expiry date of OPT. Please let me know the situation. Thanks

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      Jay, You can apply as per rule…Having said that, if DHS does not re-issue the extension rule by Feb 2016, your OPT will end. Do not worry, it is very likely that DHS will re-issue the rule by Feb 2016

  28. Mohit

    Hi,
    If DHS is not come up with any solution and extension rule cancelled in Feb. What would happend to students who already on their opt extension period? Are they goes out of status immediately in feb only?

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      Mohit, Well, as their OPT extension will end by Feb 12, 2016, they will have 60 days grace period to leave the country. Don’t worry, it is very likely that USCIS will re-issue the rule by Feb 2016.

      1. Wei

        Hi Kumar,
        If USCIS do re-issue the rule, will it be immediately valid or does it have to wait for going through the STANDARD process to be valid?

        1. administrator
          Kumar

          When DHS re-issues the rule, they will have to go through the standard process. They will go through that in the next 6 months and complete the process so that the rule is effective before the court’s deadline for cancellation.

  29. Abc

    my opt will expire in june 15 2016, so can i apply for opt before feb 12 2016 for extension or am I ineligible for applying extension?

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      Technically you can apply for OPT 120 days before. Even if you apply, if DHS does not re-issue the rule, as per court ruling the OPT extension will be end on Feb 12, 2016. Dont worry, it is very likely that DHS will re-issue the rule before Feb 2016.

  30. Asghar

    My opt will expire on Feb 26, can i still apply for extension? And can i get it? Since i can apply 4 month before expiration date? Plz advice

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      Asghar, If DHS does not act and the current rule gets cancelled, then you will not be able to apply as the current extension rule is valid only until Feb 12, 2016. But, dont worry too much, it is very likely that DHS will act and the 17 month OPT extension rule will be passed by standard process by Feb 2016 and you should be fine to apply.

  31. Unknown

    This rule is really bullshit. An F-1 student go to school, earn his degree, face the hardship, get a job. Where as H-4 people, come take the work authorization – it’s free for you, because you never faced hardship.

    Thanks !!

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      Well, 12 month OPT is still in tact, it is only the extension of 17 months that is being questioned. Again, this is just that it was not implemented as per process by DHS in 2008. It should be taken care, nothing to worry.

  32. A reddy

    I am in opt starting this month….so I have to apply for opt extension in June 2016… if extension is cancelled… am I not allowed to apply for extension???
    Thanks

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      A reddy, It is too early to worry about it. The worst case, if DHS does not take care of the situation by Feb 2016, then that could be the case. OPT extension was also part of the Obama Executive action, in my view DHS will take care of it by Feb 2016. Nothing to worry at the moment.

  33. ABC

    It is not clear yet whether OPT extension will be revoked or not. As per the article, your son will be eligible for OPT (12 month work permit) after finishing up his STEM degree.

  34. Mohan

    I am in H1B. My son is in 11th grade and I am planning for him to do degree here (STEM). As this OPT being removed, should I rethink about he doing degree here? Any suggestion. Will this decision not make student to think before taking up future US degree course?
    I am worried of my son. Please suggest.

    1. administrator
      Kumar

      Mohan, Let me clarify, general 12 month OPT is not impacted by any means. Only the 17 month extension after the regular 12 months is under radar because DHS did not follow the process. I am pretty sure, DHS will take care of the 17 month extension as well by following the general process. There is nothing to worry, your son will be utilizing this after 4 years, not to worry too much for now. It should be fine.

    2. Rahul

      Please wait till October 16th before you make decisions about your son’s future in USA. OPT 17 month ext will most likely be removed because USCIS can’t find any reasons to have it in the first place. The rule was brought in to help students who can’t get H1 during their OPT term. The extension rule was proposed and implemented in a hurry without seeking public comments. Court found USCIS acted in a hurry to implement this without seeking public comment. In an age where majority American workers are angry on the H1b visa increase, foreigners taking away their jobs and the massive visa fraud going on unnoticed right under their nose, mostly by Indian IT consultancy firms. Best example is about New Horizon tech, a CA based consultancy owners got indicted for applying for multiple H1B visas for OPT students employed by them. They will most likely be in federal prison for rest of their life. Most of the cases like this are due to people from Indian state of Andhra Pradesh who are too street smart to take law into their hands.
      DHS is very lazy to tackle this because they already have illegal immigration and H1b problems to deal with. Let’s hope for the best but prepare for the worst. I am not intending to sugarcoat the situation by saying yes they’ll propose and publish it and save all those OPT extension candidates. But DHS don’t find a urgent need to do it because they can’t cover up the mess they have already made. WATW attorney John Maino said that this OPT extension rule was made after a party at Microsoft billionaire’s home to allow foreign workers to be brought in to reduce wages to line the pockets of billionaires. He also said that DHS failed to give a response to RFC. Best option for sincere technology candidates on OPT extension is to apply for PhD and try to stay until a new OPT rule comes into picture.

      1. anish

        Kudos to you Rahul for putting it up so clearly . I would still like to know in case the extension is scrapped and we are just down to 12 month OPT, can we still enroll in any college program that offers day 1 CPT and still maintain our legal status in USA rather than going for a Phd ( as i believe that any Phd must be done out of interest and not forcefully just bcoz a person wants to stay back.) . Is it legal to enroll in day 1 CPT programs ??? . What’s your suggestion ? Thanks.

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