The Department of Homeland Security has issued a proposed rule updating the STEM OPT Extension and Cap-Gap Relief for F-1 students. This rule has been submitted to the Federal Register for notice and comments as a requirement of the regulatory process. DHS is encouraging comments on the proposal and will be accepting Public Comments through November 18, 2015.
The newly proposed rule increases oversight of STEM Extension OPT by requiring specific mentoring and training by employers, adding wage requirements and allowing for site visits to employers, to name a few requirements. It proposes to increase the length of the extension to 24 months and allows for an aggregate of 150 total days of unemployment while on the extension. DHS has developed the proposed rule to enhance the academic benefits of the extension and to reaffirm that the extension is utilized by students to gain further knowledge from their academic programs.
Please note that the rule is not yet finalized and is in the proposal stage only. For highlights of the proposed rule, please visit Nafsa - the Association of International Educator's website at: www.nafsa.org/stemoptrule. When the rule is finalized, the OIA will update our information and application process to incorporate the final requirements.
The Office of International Affairs