The Federal Court of Appeals for Washington D.C. upheld a lower Court decision and ruled that both the OPT and STEM OPT programs were lawfully enacted. This case arose from a lawsuit initiated by a group of union tech workers in 2008 arguing that any type of OPT program created by the DHS exceeded the… Continue reading OPT STEM Program Upheld by Federal Court
The USCIS posted a reminder to F-1 students working on OPT and OPT STEM about monitoring the duration of all periods of unemployment as exceeding the cumulative allowance can leave a student without legal status and impact future change of status filings. One of the most common RFE’s issued in H-1b cap cases is demanding… Continue reading USCIS Reminder to F-1 Students
It is being reported by Forbes, that ICE has now started site investigations of OPT STEM workers to verify that their employment is in compliance with USCIS regulations and policy. The 2 primary questions they are likely to address are: 1. Is the student being paid at least a Level 1 prevailing wage ? and… Continue reading Site Investigations of OPT STEM Students
In a major reversal today, the USCIS has announced that it is withdrawing its web-site guidance regarding the prohibition of OPT STEM workers being placed at 3rd party sites and have announced that the employment of OPT STEM workers being placed at a 3rd party site is permitted as long as all training obligations are… Continue reading Victory for IT Staffing and OPT STEM students !
For those of you in the staffing/consulting business employing OPT STEM workers at 3rd party sites that were hoping the USCIS web-site policy was not going to be enforced or that the pleas of universities to the White House or the threat of APA litigation over the “web-site regulation” in the face of an existing… Continue reading More on OPT STEM
DHS has release its Agency Rule List for Spring 2018. In this release the current administration outlined their rule change wish list, which includes: 1. Scrapping the H1b lottery. Possibly requiring preregistration for H1b’s. 2. Revisions to H1b definitions for specialty occupation. We’ve already seen some Officers use narrower interpretations than what we believe the… Continue reading Possible Upcoming Rule Changes to be on the Lookout For
The Trump Administration has handed down a new policy memorandum targeting international students by changing the definition of unlawful presence to essentially be synonymous with a status violation. The new memo is slated to go into effect on Aug 9, 2018. The penalty for accruing 180 days of unlawful presence is a 3 year bar… Continue reading International Students Beware
According to a PEW study, until 2016, the US saw a huge increase in the number of international students graduating from US schools and remaining in the US to work in STEM jobs. Over the next 2 years, it will be interesting to see if this number drops drastically due to recent policy changes by… Continue reading International Students and STEM Jobs
There remains a number of unanswered questions regarding the Jan 2018 web-site changes to the use of the OPT STEM program in the circumstances of a 3rd party placement but, several schools have issued announcements indicating that no 3rd party placements are appropriate for OPT STEM workers. Below is the interpretation and direction from one… Continue reading More on OPT STEM use by staffing firms
HLG has published the August edition of Immigration Advocate featuring an article on the OPT STEM rules. Check it out here.
Many people read the headlines last week and saw that the Supreme Court had ruled that President Obama had exceeded his Executive Action authority on immigration and wondered if it impacted any of the employment related executive actions such as H-4 EADs or OPT STEM, etc and the answer is not at all. The Supreme… Continue reading Impact of Supreme Court DAPA decision ?