On March 11, 2016, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) published its final rule to 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 replaces the 17-month STEM OPT extension. The 17-month STEM OPT regulations will stay in effect until May 9, 2016. The 24-month extension takes effect on May 10, 2016.

In coordination with this final rule, DHS’s Study in the States launched the STEM OPT Hub to help stakeholders better understand the new regulation. Likewise, you can also go to www.uscis.gov for further information about students and employment as well as this final rule.

Additionally, the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) will host a live webinar for stakeholders on Thursday, April 14, 2016 from 2-3 p.m. EDT to discuss the new rule. This webinar is free and open to the public. SEVP encourages both F-1 students and school officials to participate.

We encourage you to access the new resources online and participate in the webinar to learn more about the STEM OPT final rule.