17 Months OPT Extension Cancelled
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11 FAQ’s About 17 Months STEM OPT Extension Cancelled. What Happens Next [Video]

Federal Court Vacated  17 Months STEM OPT Extension rule on august 13, 2014.  Here’s the list of questions answered by Immigration Attorney Murali Bashyam from BashyamSpiro.com in this video interview about breaking news – 17 Months STEM OPT Extension is Revoked by Federal Court.

  1. Is the News Real or Fake?
  2. What does Vacatur mean from the Court Order?
  3. Why  U.S. Federal Court Vacated 17 Months STEM OPT Extension?
  4. What is Rule Making Process? How long dos it normally take?
  5. Court Vacated the Rule and Put a Stay on the Rule, until Feb 12, 2016. Why?
  6. Does DHS have sufficient time to Publish the  Rule?
  7. Do we know what DHS is planning to do next?
  8. What happens if DHS doesn’t have enough time to implement this Rule Making Process?
  9. If they have time, will the new rule include 6 years or OPT Period?
  10. How does this affect the current students in OPT?
  11. How does this impact the students who will file initial 12 months OPT?

Watch the Video Interview Below

Prefer Audio?


Resources Mentioned in this Video

What Happens Next?

  • As per the  Interview above, DHS  SHOULD be able to take care of this situation.
  • Again, there’s difference between SHOULD and WILL.
  • It’s unlikely for DHS to implement 6 years OPT Extension (as rumored).
  • We don’t have any updates from DHS on how they are going to respond to this court ruling.
  • We don’t know when DHS will publish an news update.
  • Extending STEM OPT is part of President Obama’s Executive Action Plan.

As Murali stated, court orders go without much news coverage, but this news is HUGE for F-1 Visa students.

  • Stay Tuned for Updates (via email, facebook fan page, RSS reader, Twitter)
  • You can also subscribe to receive Email Updates from the Blog.

Here’s the Latest Email Sent to Students at Johns Hopkin’s University


The Office of International Services (OIS) at Johns Hopkins University is distributing this message to all students who have an active F-1 status in our records.

A court decision on Thursday, August 13, found that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) made procedural errors in its processing of a rule that established the 17 month STEM Optional Practical Training (OPT) extension, making that rule invalid. The court decided, however, that enforcing this decision immediately would cause substantial hardship for F-1 STEM students and would create a major labor disruption for technology companies, so the court has delayed the enforcement of this decision until February 12, 2016. This allows DHS to submit the OPT STEM rule for proper notice and comment period.

As this court decision has just been released, DHS has not been able to determine its impact on current and future OPT applications and has not communicated any changes to international student offices. While we understand that students are anxious to have details on the validity of any current OPT that has been granted and the possibility of receiving future STEM extensions, OIS cannot provide answers to these questions until we receive guidance from DHS.

What we can tell you now:

It appears that this ruling will have no impact on the initial 12-month OPT for which all students, regardless of major, are eligible, but this has not been confirmed.
Until we are informed otherwise by DHS, we will produce I-20 forms for STEM extensions. Unless we receive clarification of whether DHS will continue to accept applications for STEM extensions, it will be your decision whether to pay the application fee and file an application.
Until otherwise informed, current EAD cards for STEM extensions should be considered valid.
You should continue to make the required employment and address reports, and ensure that you do not exceed the unemployment limits of OPT.

We suggest students do not panic and await further information from DHS and/or OIS. Do not trust information that comes from any unofficial source, rely only on guidance from DHS/OIS. DHS may publish a new ruling on STEM OPT that satisfies the court’s objections and reinstates STEM OPT; if that happens we will notify students.


As soon as there’s any news about this news, you will be first person to hear the news, just like this news was published when no other news outlets even go a gist of this story.


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  2. dear Raghu,
    Thank you for sharing this valuable video on STEM OPT extension issues… im hoping that we will hear the positive news only… there are hundreds and thousands of aspiring indian students who are eagerly waiting for OPT extensions after completion of studies..

  3. Hi
    Some of my friends who applied for stem opt extension in june month, they got their EAD card on September 17th. It’s valid until Feb 12 2016. USCIS is approving EAD till Feb 12 2016. I will be applying in the last week of October. If in this case, do we need to leave the country? I’m so tensed.

    1. Anusha,can I have the contact details of your friends? I will send a email to you. You can reply to me via email.

  4. Hello,

    I am planning to apply for STEM extension in 3rd week of October and wanted to travel outside US for 4 weeks from December to mid -January(OPT EAD expires in mid-February), there are chances that when I re-enter,my STEM extension would still be in process.

    Is the travel recommended while STEM extension application is pending? How does the travel affect my application?


    1. If your OPT EAD is valid during re-entry – why worry? Does not matter even if your STEM extension is under process or if its approved and a new EAD is sent to your US address. You are entering in January based on your OPT EAD – which is valid.

      You need to worry about this if you extend your trip beyond Feb 12th.

  5. There is a petition to propose regulation for extending the 17 month STEM OPT extension. They need 63k more signatures to reach their target of 100,000 by September 13 2015. You can sign the petition here : https://goo.gl/K9vRbQ

  6. Hi,

    How are you?

    Right now, I am under STEM OPT Extension. I am planning to go back to China next month.

    My US Visa has expired and I need to re-apply US visa. Will the rule impact me to get Visa and re-enter to US?


  7. hopes this is reviewed, appealed and heard thoroughly as ramifications are huge for a free country like USA.

  8. Hi
    I am currently on my Initial 12 month OPT , it started on June 2 , 2015 , by Feb 2 , 2015 it would be 8 months exactly and I can apply stem extension 4 months prior to my EAD expires ,prior to the date feb 12, 2015, is it possible to apply for stem extension and get accepted .

    1. We still need clarification from USCIS. But, if you apply for extension before Feb 12, 2016 you should get extension.

  9. Hi
    I am currently on Opt and I am trying to apply STEM Extension in this October as 12 Month OPT Period is ending this January. Will be any Problem If I Travel in his November while my STEM Extension is in processing??


  10. Hi,

    I am currently on OPT extension. I ll have a short travel to India in September. Will I be allowed to re-enter at POE during this situation?


  11. this recent update about STAM OPT……..is this affacted on regulare CPT ..and regulare OPT?…like…(would OPT months make..substracting ..from.. …CPT..months..?.

    1. I think the dhs will continue to issue the OPT extenstion till the dust settles. relax till you get next news.

  12. Hi Raghu,

    I am currently on my 17 month OPT extension till october 16th and want to know how this rule if implemented will affect me. Will that mean my extension become void or will it remain till october 16th.


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