The long-awaited proposed rule on F-1 Optional Practical Training (OPT) was published in the Federal Register on October 19, 2015, by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The proposed rule is titled, "Improving and Expanding Training Opportunities for F-1 Nonimmigrant Students with STEM Degrees and Cap-Gap Relief for All Eligible F-1 Students." There is a 30-day public comment period that ends on November 18, 2015. The government is proposing an expansion of the F-1 OPT STEM program pursuant to President Obama’s Executive Action plan outlined in late 2014, and is also addressing concerns about the initial F-1 OPT STEM rule which was recently vacated in a court decision.
With the issuance of the rule, and questions raised by employers subsequent to the WashTech decision, we have prepared the attached On-Demand webinar on these important F-1 OPT issues. The following topics are discussed in the accompanying 38-minute "On-Demand Webinar":
- Background on F-1 OPT
- 2008 Rule on F-1 OPT STEM Extension
- Proposed Executive Action — November 2014
- WashTech Lawsuit and Court Decision
- Highlights of the F-1 OPT STEM Rule Changes, including a discussion of the longer STEM extension period for 24 months, the new proposed mentoring and training plan, and attestations by employers, using previously obtained STEM degrees, employer site visits, and more.
Please access the webinar at On-Demand Webinar. By registering for the On-Demand Webinar, you can listen to the webinar at your convenience as the webinar will be available until November 7, 2016. In addition to the discussion from the presenters, a PowerPoint presentation and resources on the proposed rule are available.