Make a Payment 
<a href="https://secure.blueoctane.net/forms/E8TLX753GRBB">Click Here To Load This Formexperts.com Form</a>
Share

NPZ Immigration Law Blog

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

PRACTICAL TRAINING FOR STEM STUDENTS


USCIS on October 6th, 2013, has issued policy memorandum about OPT for students enrolled in STEM Program as following:

17-Month Extension of Post-Completion Optional Practical Training (OPT) for F-1 Students Enrolled in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Degree Programs

Purpose

The purpose of this policy memorandum (PM) is to clarify the eligibility requirements for a 17-month extension of Post-Completion OPT for F-1 students enrolled in STEM degree programs.

Scope

This PM applies to all USCIS employees.

Issue

Whether F-1 students engaging in post-completion OPT under 8 CFR 214.2(f)(10)(ii)(A) are eligible for the 17-month STEM extension under 8 CFR 214.2(f)(10)(ii)(C) if they have not yet completed their thesis requirement or equivalent for their STEM degree when applying for the STEM extension.

Summary Conclusion

F-1 students engaging in post-completion OPT are eligible for a 17-month STEM extension even if they have not yet completed the thesis requirement or equivalent for their STEM degree.

Applicable Law

8 CFR 214.2(f)(10)(ii)(A)(3) states:

(A) General. Consistent with the application and approval process in paragraph (f)(11) of this section, a student may apply to USCIS for authorization for temporary employment for optional practical training directly related to the student's major area of study. Interim Memoranda PM-602-0090: 17-Month Extension of Post-Completion Optional Practical Training (OPT) for F-1 Students Enrolled in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Degree Programs Page 2

* * *

(3) After completion of the course of study, or, for a student in a bachelor's, master's, or doctoral degree program, after completion of all course requirements for the degree (excluding thesis or equivalent). Continued enrollment, for the school's administrative purposes, after all requirements for the degree have been met does not preclude eligibility for optional practical training. A student must complete all practical training within a 14-month period following the completion of study, except that a 17-month extension pursuant to paragraph (f)(10)(ii)(C) of this section does not need to be completed within such 14-month period. [emphasis added]

8 CFR 214.2(f)(10)(ii)(C)(1) and (2) state:

(C) 17-month extension of post-completion OPT for students with a science, technology, engineering, or mathematics (STEM) degree. Consistent with paragraph (f)(11)(i)(C) of this section, a qualified student may apply for an extension of OPT while in a valid period of post-completion OPT. The extension will be for an additional 17 months, for a maximum of 29 months of OPT, if all of the following requirements are met.

(1) The student has not previously received a 17-month OPT extension after earning a STEM degree. [emphasis added]

(2) The degree that was the basis for the student's current period of OPT is a bachelor's, master's, or doctoral degree in one of the degree programs on the current STEM Designated Degree Program List, published on the SEVP website at http://www.ice.gov/sevis.

Policy Analysis

To be eligible for post-completion OPT under 8 CFR 214.2(f)(10)(ii)(A), F-1 students must have completed their course of study, or, for students in a bachelor's, master's, or doctoral degree program, the students must have completed all course requirements for their degree, excluding any applicable thesis requirement or equivalent. See 8 CFR 214.2(f)(10)(ii)(A)(3).

Pursuant to a narrow reading of 8 CFR 214.2(f)(10)(ii)(C)(1) and (2), one might conclude that F-1 students who have been granted post-completion OPT under 8 CFR 214.2(f)(10)(ii)(A) must have completed all course requirements for their STEM degree, including any applicable thesis requirement or equivalent, in order to be eligible for the 17-month STEM extension (i.e., only after "earning a STEM degree").

However, the regulations under 8 CFR 214.2(f)(10)(ii)(C)(1) and (2) cannot be read in isolation; they must be read in conjunction with 8 CFR 214.2(f)(10)(ii)(A)(3), which states expressly that students need not necessarily have completed their thesis requirement or equivalent in order to be eligible for post-completion OPT. Because the 17-month STEM extension is merely an extension of a previously granted period of post-completion OPT, it is therefore logical to conclude that students who are applying for the STEM extension need not necessarily have completed their STEM degree thesis requirement or equivalent in order to be eligible for the extension. Such a reading is made even more Interim Memoranda PM-602-0090: 17-Month Extension of Post-Completion Optional Practical Training (OPT) for F-1 Students Enrolled in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Degree Programs compelling from a policy perspective, given the nation's interest in attracting and retaining the world's best and brightest individuals.

Moreover, such a reading is consistent with the position taken by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP), in issuing the following policy guidance on this specific issue. Section 6.7 of Policy Guidance 1004-03 - Update to Optional Practical Training, states:

Can a student in a graduate-level program who has completed all program requirements, aside from thesis or equivalent, apply for either pre-completion OPT or post-completion OPT?

Yes, a student who only has the thesis or equivalent remaining may either apply for pre-completion OPT or post-completion OPT while completing the thesis/dissertation.

..., if a student in this situation applies for post-completion OPT, he or she:
• May work full time.
• Would be eligible for the cap gap extension.
• May apply for the 17-month extension if otherwise eligible. [emphasis added]
• Would be subject to the unemployment provisions.
• Would be unable to receive an extension of his or her course of study.

See: www.ice.gov/doclib/sevis/pdf/opt_policy_guidance_042010.pdf.

Therefore, in accordance with the above interpretation of 8 CFR 214.2(f)(10)(ii)(C)(1) and (2), F-1 students who are currently in a period of post-completion OPT while completing his or her thesis and has completed all other course requirements for his or her STEM degree, is eligible to apply for a 17- month STEM extension, notwithstanding the fact that the student has not yet completed the thesis requirement or equivalent for his or her STEM degree.

For more information, please feel free to contact the Immigration and Nationality Lawyers at the NPZ Law Group at 201-670-0006 or by e-mailing us at info@visaserve.com.

Archived Posts

2017
March
February
January
2016
December
November
October
September
August
July
June
May
April
March
February
January
2015
December
November
October
September
August
July
June
May
April
March
February
January
2014
December
H-1B SEASON IS UPON US . . . WILL THIS YEAR'S ECONOMY BRING A LOTTERY? PLANNING FOR THE H-1B VISA SEASON MAY BE THE KEY TO BEING ABLE TO CONTINUE YOUR WORK AUTHORIZED STATUS IN THE U.S.
THE NEW EXPRESS ENTRY SYSTEM EXPLAINED
"Know Before You Go": NPZ Law Group Helps Ease The Stress of Holiday Travel For Certain Foreign Nationals.
5 Cosas que se deben saber sobre cómo las acciones del Presidente Obama impactarán a Inmigrantes Indocumentados.
Acción Ejecutiva de Responsabilidad de Inmigración fue anunciada por el presidente Obama. ¿Es usted o alguien que usted conoce un Beneficiario? (Parte I)
Acción Ejecutiva de Responsabilidad de Inmigración fue anunciada por el presidente Obama. ¿Es usted o alguien que usted conoce un Beneficiario? (Parte II)
Acción Ejecutiva de Responsabilidad de Inmigración fue anunciada por el presidente Obama. ¿Es usted o alguien que usted conoce un Beneficiario? (Parte III)
Acción Ejecutiva de Responsabilidad de Inmigración fue anunciada por el presidente Obama. ¿Es usted o alguien que usted conoce un Beneficiario? (Parte IV)
Acción Ejecutiva de Responsabilidad de Inmigración fue anunciada por el presidente Obama. ¿Es usted o alguien que usted conoce un Beneficiario? (Parte V)
Acción Ejecutiva de Responsabilidad de Inmigración fue anunciada por el presidente Obama. ¿Es usted o alguien que usted conoce un Beneficiario? (Parte VI)
EL RECIENTE ANUNCIO DEL PRESIDENTE OBAMA SOBRE LA RESPONSABILIDAD INMIGRACIÓN PRESENTA MUCHOS BENEFICIOS PARA MUCHAS COMUNIDADES DE INMIGRANTES!
Immigration Accountability Executive Action Was Announced By President Obama. Are You or Someone You Know a Beneficiary? (Part VI)
PRESIDENT OBAMA'S RECENT ANNOUNCEMENT ABOUT IMMIGRATION ACCOUNTABILITY PRESENTS MANY BENEFITS FOR MANY IMMIGRANT COMMUNITIES!
November
Immigration Accountability Executive Action Was Announced By President Obama. Are You or Someone You Know a Beneficiary? (Part IV)
Immigration Accountability Executive Action Was Announced By President Obama. Are You or Someone You Know a Beneficiary? (Part V)
Immigration Accountability Executive Action Was Announced By President Obama. Are You or Someone You Know a Beneficiary? (Part I)
Immigration Accountability Executive Action Was Announced By President Obama. Are You or Someone You Know a Beneficiary? (Part II)
Immigration Accountability Executive Action Was Announced By President Obama. Are You or Someone You Know a Beneficiary? (Part III) Changes to Provisional Waivers and "Extreme Hardship Definition.
Immigration Accountability Executive Action Was Announced By President Obama. Are You or Someone You Know a Beneficiary? (Part IV)
5 Things to know about how President Obama's Actions Impacts Undocumented Immigrants.
Programa de Refugiados y de Admisión Condicional para menores de edad de El Salvador, Guatemala y Honduras con padres legalmente presentes en los Estados Unidos.
ÚLTIMAS NOTICIAS DE INMIGRACIÓN EN LOS ESTADOS UNIDOS: Reforma Integral de Inmigración.
USCIS Expands the Definition of "Mother" and "Parent" to Include Gestational Mothers Using Assisted Reproductive Technogy (ART)
U.S. IMMIGRATION NEWS FLASH: President Obama Announces Administrative Relief for Immigrants in the U.S.
In-Country Refugee/Parole Program for Minors in El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras With Parents Lawfully Present in the United States
October
September
August
July
June
May
April
March
February
January
2013
December
November
October
September
August
July
June
May
April
March
February
January


National in scope, the business immigration law firm of NPZ Law Group represents clients from throughout the United States and around world. Regionally, our attorneys remain committed to serving the immigration needs of businesses in the Tri-state area and the Hudson Valley, including residents of Ridgewood, Newark, and Jersey City, Burlington County, Bergen County, Camden County, Cumberland County, Essex County, Hudson County, Mercer County, Middlesex County, Monmouth County, Morris County, Passaic County, Salem County, Union County, northern New Jersey, southern New Jersey, central New Jersey, NJ; New York City, Rockland County, Orange County, Westchester County, Kings County, Sullivan County, Ulster County, New York, NY; Chicago, Illinois, IL; and Toronto and Montreal, Canada. Our nationwide practice focused on quality legal representation and personal service.



© 2017 NPZ Law Group | Disclaimer
487 Goffle Road , Ridgewood, NJ 07450
| Phone: 866-599-3625

About | Attorneys | Types of Visas | Resources | Testimonials | Types of Immigration Law | Services

Law Firm Website Design by
Amicus Creative