The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is amending its regulations regarding Optional Practical Training (OPT) for F-1 nonimmigrant students with qualifying degrees in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) from accredited U.S. colleges or universities. The new rule, which goes into effect on May 10, 2016, allows qualifying students pursuing 12 months of OPT in the United States to apply for a 24-month extension.
New STEM OPT Employer Requirements
All STEM OPT employers must do the following:
Site Visit Notification
The new rule also provides for DHS site visits to employer locations to verify that they are meeting program requirements. The DHS will generally provide 48 hours' notice however an unannounced site visit can occur if it receives a complaint or has other evidence of noncompliance with STEM OPT regulations.
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