Legal Updates & Alerts

New 24-Month STEM OPT Rule

March 16, 2016
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security recently announced a final rule extending optional practical training (OPT) to 24 months for F-1 international students with eligible STEM degrees (science, technology, engineering, and math). OPT is a training opportunity provided to most F-1 students after they graduate from U.S. universities. The new rule becomes effective May 10, 2016 and will replace the 2008 interim final rule, which provided for a 17-month STEM extension. 
Employers that wish to take advantage of the new 24-month STEM OPT work authorization must incorporate a formal training program for the student(s), agree to certain wage protections for similarly situated employees, and continue to participate in E-Verify.   
The full text of the final rule can be found at For additional information regarding the new 24-month STEM extension, please visit: and
Please contact our office if your company is considering hiring a student who may qualify for the new 24-month STEM OPT extension, or if you currently have employees on 17-month STEM OPT who may qualify for the new 24-month STEM OPT extension.

This client update is prepared for the general information of our clients and friends. It should not be regarded as legal advice. If you have any questions regarding this update, or for more information about this topic, please contact any of the attorneys in our Immigration practice group, or the attorney with whom you normally consult.