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Greg Siskind on Immigration Law and Policy

17 MONTH OPT COMING FOR F-1 STUDENTS

Rating: 2 votes, 5.00 average.

The American Immigration Lawyers Association is reporting that USCIS has sent an interim final rule to the Office of Management and Budget that would expand from 12 to 17 months the period of time F-1 students can have for optional practical training. This is really very important news since it will effectively end the gap problem for F-1 students converting to H-1B visas. F-1 optional practical training typically ends in early summer and H-1B start dates for cap-subject cases cannot begin until October 1st. This extra five months will bridge the gap by allowing students to continue working on OPT past October 1st. No word on whether this will affect cases filed this year.



[Note: The rule has been released and it is different than what is described here. See my post at http://blogs.ilw.com/gregsiskind/2008/04/the-new-opt-rul.html for the latest].

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Comments

  1. Sid's Avatar
    This is great news. The smarter thing would have been to allow F1's to be exempt from the H-1B cap. This way the US will lose out on FICO taxes for 17 months although that's good for the current batch of F1's I guess.

  2. JK's Avatar
    I hope this rule also covers existing students whose OPT is about to expire in May(applies to me), otherwise we will be the unlucky ones to miss out.
    Greg please keep us posted about this.
  3. pk's Avatar
    greg - do you have any clarification? I am seeing contradicting reports. is it 12+17=29 months, or 12+5=17 months, or 12+17(only for certain students already in their OPT)? Hope you can clarify..
  4. George Chell's Avatar
    This is becoming rediculous. We need to streamline the system.
  5. AD's Avatar
    Can some one explain this to me? How can just USCIS extend the OPT from 12 to 17/29 months one fine day? I have nothing against the decision. I am all for it. If I am not mistaken, the INA act clearly says that the OPT is for 12 months and all the recent CIR bills wanted to make this 24 months. How can the secretary increase it showing a letter from a group of senators? Is there a Bush Executive order behind this?

    What I am getting to is if USCIS can do this, why cant they recapture visa numbers when so many EB based applicants are hanging in there for years. If there is no Executive order or clear substantiation on how this is happening, Will FAIR, NumberUSA, PG etc sit tight?
  6. Ranjiv's Avatar
    Yeah..That's right! Time to slaughter the golden goose.
  7. P's Avatar
    Is that true ?? because i dont see in any of the sites ,but just in this site.
  8. Legal and no longer waiting's Avatar
    The USCIS has discretion when it comes to determining the length of some benefits. Of course, the EADs that are already issues will not be extended, but the new ones will be issued for a longer term.
  9. JUNG's Avatar
    c'mon some sites are saying its 29 months you guys are saying its 17 months
    some are saying its only STEM that will benefit

    isn't there any clarity on whats going on? or is everyone as usual just speculating and playing with our careers and nerves at this crucial time???
  10. Stephen's Avatar
    Still no confirmation. Sounds like wishful thinking.
  11. JUNG's Avatar
    c'mon some sites are saying its 29 months you guys are saying its 17 months
    some are saying its only STEM that will benefit

    isn't there any clarity on whats going on? or is everyone as usual just speculating and playing with our careers and nerves at this crucial time???
  12. JK's Avatar
    Greg, based on your experience, what is the likelihood that this rule will go through? Also, when can we expect the OMB/USCIS to act on it?
  13. Greg Siskind's Avatar
    I have not seen the reg and am only reporting what AILA is telling its members.
  14. fb's Avatar
    Go to reginfo.gov, click on "Current and past regulatory reviews", select DHS under "Regulations under review". This appears to be the source "Extending Period for Optional Practical Training for 17 Months for Qualified F-1 Students". Where is OPT in the INA? I believe it's in the regs.
  15. rajesh's Avatar
    OPT 17 Month Rule Approved in OMB..............

    www.reginfo.gov

    AGENCY: DHS-USICE RIN: 1653-AA56
    TITLE: Extending Period for Optional Practical Training for 17 Months for Qualified F-1 Students
    STAGE: Interim Final Rule ECONOMICALLY SIGNIFICANT: No
    RECEIVED DATE: 03/31/2008 LEGAL DEADLINE: None
    ** COMPLETED: 04/03/2008 COMPLETED ACTION: Consistent with Change
  16. ps's Avatar
    Greg - Can you guess how long before we know the text of this rule?
  17. Greg Siskind's Avatar
    I imagine this will be out soon. I would guess the goal is to allow for extensions to be filed for the extra few months soon so there will be minimal gaps in employment this year. Just a guess.
  18. Daina's Avatar
    I believe it is not extending the 12-month period to 17, but offering an additional 17 months, as an extension, in some circumstances. The interim final rule should be out this week.
  19. Greg Siskind's Avatar
    Daina - See my post at http://blogs.ilw.com/gregsiskind/2008/04/the-new-opt-rul.html for the updated details.
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