The Department of Homeland Security published a final rule in the Federal Register on March 11, 2016 that will allow certain international students to stay and work in the United States on their student visas as long as three years after graduating. Certain STEM students (students studying science, technology, engineering, and math) with an F-1 visa who have elected to pursue 12 months of optional practical training (OPT) will be able to extend that OPT period by 24 months. Previously, the extension period was 17 months. The new regulations give STEM students the opportunity to apply for an H-1B visa multiple times to increase their chances of being allowed to work in the U.S. long-term.
Rachel is an intern with the firm and is not a practicing attorney.