DHS Publishes Proposed Rulemaking for STEM OPT Expansion

    View Author November 2015
    On October 19, 2015 the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) published a notice of proposed rulemaking (Proposal) that would expand the optional practical training (OPT) regulations for F-1 students with science, technology, engineering, or mathematics degrees (STEM) from US institutions of higher education. The Proposal provides several benefits and protections for F-1 students and US workers, and will impose additional requirements for employers and educational institutions. The Proposal would extend the OPT period by an additional 24 months, for a total of 36 months per educational level, in a position related to the student’s field of study. In addition, employers will be required to implement formal mentoring and training programs to enhance the student’s academic and practical experience.