Category Archives: STEM

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FY2019 H-1B Cap Met

USCIS announced today, April 6, 2018, that the FY 2019 H-1B cap is now closed because it has received a sufficient number of H‐1B petitions to reach the 65,000 statutory cap as well as the 20,000 advanced degree exemption. The announcement did not provide details about the total number of H-1B petitions filed.  USCIS will … Continue Reading

July 2016 “SEVIS by the Numbers” Report Indicates Growth in the Number of International Students Studying in the United States

This week, the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) published its quarterly “SEVIS by the Numbers” report announcing that there are over one million international students in the United States.  Many of these students will seek employment with U.S. companies using work authorization granted to them pursuant to their F or M visa status.  In … Continue Reading

The New STEM OPT Program: the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

The new STEM OPT program became effective on May 10, 2016, and represents a complete overhaul of how this program has operated since 2008.  For the uninitiated, STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, or Mathematics; and OPT stands for Optional Practical Training.  As previously reported, F-1 students with qualifying STEM degrees are now eligible for … Continue Reading

DHS Set to Publish Final Rule Allowing Further STEM OPT Extensions for Foreign Students

Today DHS released an advanced copy of its final rule allowing foreign students with degrees in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) to extend their Optional Practical Training (OPT) for an additional 24 months.  DHS will publish the final rule in the Federal Register this Friday.  The rule will go into effect on May 10.  … Continue Reading

Greenberg Traurig Attorney Kate Kalmykov Pens Expert Analysis in Law360 Regarding the Fiscal Year 2017 H-1B Cap

Kate Kalmykov, a shareholder at Greenberg Traurig, provides unique insights for employers and in-house counsel in Law360’s Expert Analysis, “New Factors May Change Odds In 2017 H-1B Cap Season.” The article discusses the new developments in the H-1B visa program and potential changes on the horizon for the 2017 H-1B filing period.  Kalmykov addresses fees … Continue Reading

DHS Granted Extension to May 10, 2016 to Implement New F-1 STEM OPT Program

On Jan. 23, 2016, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia granted the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) additional time–until May 10, 2016–before the court’s vacatur of the 2008, 17-month Optional Practical Training (OPT) STEM Extension rule would go into effect. DHS requested this additional time to review more than 50,000 comments it received in response … Continue Reading

WashTech Opposes DHS’s Request for Additional Time to Finalize STEM OPT Rule

The Washington Alliance of Technology Workers (WashTech) filed a response on Jan. 11, 2016, in opposition to the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS’s) request to extend the deadline to implement the STEM OPT rule from Feb. 12, 2016, to May 10, 2016. DHS requested additional time to finalize the STEM OPT interim rule  after receiving more than … Continue Reading

DHS Seeks Additional Extension for STEM OPT Rule Beyond Feb. 12, 2016

In August 2015, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia determined that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) improperly promulgated the regulation allowing the 17-month STEM extension for optional practical training (OPT) because the regulation was not subject to notice and comment rulemaking, which requires DHS to consider public comments before making the … Continue Reading

Summary: Notice of Proposed Rule for STEM OPT Extension

On October 19, the Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”) issued the long awaited notice of proposed rulemaking to amend its F-1 nonimmigrant student visa regulations to allow for an extension of a student’s Optional Practical Training (“OPT”) period for an additional 24 months if the student has met the requirements.  The proposed rule is in … Continue Reading

Greenberg Traurig Attorney Ian Macdonald Featured in Computerworld Article on White House faces tight deadlines for saving STEM program

This article addresses a petition urging the White House to act on the court ruling that may force thousands of recent STEM graduates to leave the United States in early 2016.  The petition recently reached 100,000 signatures, which is the threshold for an official government response.  Immigration attorney, Ian MacDonald, comments on the issue of meeting … Continue Reading

Federal Court Decision on F-1 Work Authorization Poses Massive Headaches for Employers Unless USCIS Implements A New Rule In The Next 6 Months

Yesterday, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia significantly curtailed immigration benefits for foreign students in the United States on F-1 visas. In her opinion in the case Washington Alliance of Technology Workers vs. U.S. Department of Homeland Security, U.S. District Judge Ellen Segal Huvelle invalidated USCIS’s 2008 17-month Optional Practical Training (OPT) … Continue Reading