On March 11th, 2016, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) published its final rule to strengthen and enhance the optional practical training (OPT) program for F-1 international students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields. The new STEM OPT extension is a 24-month period of temporary training that directly relates to an F-1 student’s program of study in an approved STEM field and effectively replaces the 17‑month STEM OPT extension. The 17-month STEM OPT regulations remain in effect through May 9, 2016. The 2016 STEM OPT 24-month extension final rule is effective beginning May 10, 2016.
From 17-Months Extension to 24-Months Extension
● New STEM OPT extension is a 24-month period of temporary training that directly relates to an F-1 student's program of study in an approved STEM field.
○ Approved STEM Field Code includes 11.0101 (which is the code for KSI)
● The 17-month STEM OPT regulations will remain in effect through May 9th, 2016. The 2016 final rule’s STEM OPT 24-month extension is effective beginning May 10th, 2016.
● DHS will not automatically convert 17-months extension to 24-month extension.
● Students whose 17-month STEM OPT extension expires prior to May 10, 2016, or who have less than 150 days remaining on their 17-month STEM OPT extension EADs on the date that they are able to properly file their STEM OPT extension are not covered under the transition plan. These students are ineligible to benefit from the 24-month STEM extension for purposes of practical training associated with their most current degree and are therefore not covered under the transition plan.
Please click to find the OPT STEM - 24 Month Extension Guidelines