Changes to STEM OPT Extensions Lengthen Timeframe and Increase Employer Responsibilities

On March 11, 2016, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued its final rule for international students with US degrees in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) seeking extension of Optional Practical Training (OPT) (the “Final Rule”) employment authorization. This alert contains key information on the creation of the new 24-month STEM OPT extension period and requirements for students, their universities and their potential STEM employers.