H4 EAD and STEM OPT TO be Revoked By President Trump?

Raghuram Sukumar OPT 137 Comments

Update: Dec 2017

  • Original article about the leaked memo was published in Jan 2017.
  • As per leaked memo STEM OPT and H4 EAD could be revoked.
  • There was a a pending lawsuit for H4 EAD as well.
  • As per latest Federal Register, new rule making have been submitted to Remove and Revoke H4 EAD.

Links to Read:


24 Months STEM OPT, H4 EAD could be Revoked by President Trump’s Executive Order as per the Leaked Memo. This is Developing News (and Breaking News). We have been hearing news about President Trump and his plans for restricting and reforming U.S. Immigration System. Two Executive Orders were signed today and leaked memo shows four more Draft of Executive Order that President Trump can sign.

Plus, there’s language in the Executive Order that impacts H1B Visa, J1 Visa, L1, Adjustment of Status for Green Card, etc. Yes, my head was spinning when I started reading the draft. And here’s the list of New H1B Visa and Green Card Bills that have been introduced in Congress till date.  As per the Leaked memo form Vox of Executive Order, 24 Months STEM OPT Extension, H-4 EAD could be revoked.

Quoting from Vox:

But on Wednesday afternoon, Trump signed two executive orders on immigration that word-for-word matched the drafts we’d received. Given that our source had early access to two documents that were proven accurate, and that all the orders closely align with Trump’s stated policies on the campaign trail, we are reporting on the remaining four.

Here’s a quick overview of what’s in the Executive Order:

  • Memo Title: Protecting American Jobs and Workers by Strengthening the Integrity of Foreign Worker Visa Programs
  • Review/Revoke Regulations
    • 24 Months STEM OPT Extension
    • H4 EAD
    • Parole based entry into the USA
    • Other Non-Immigrant Work Visas
  • Increased site visits for L-1 and other employment based guest worker visas
  • Ways to alter H-1B Visa program instead of allocating visa via Lottery
  • Improve monitoring of foreign students” and to “reform, practical training programs for foreign students to prevent the disadvantaging of US students in the workforce.
  • To reform the J-1 Summer Work Travel program to improve protections of US workers.
  • E-Verify Program changes

We don’t know which provision of this Leaked Executive Order will make it into the final executive order or even if this order would be even signed. But, looks like the source who provided the leaked copy of two executive order signed by President today matched word for word as reported by Vox Media.



I will be talking to Immigration Attorney to understand the potential impact of this Executive Order and get a clear understanding for some of the vague to generalized terms used in the leaked memo.

How to Get Breaking News Updates?

Questions and Answers

1. Is this Memo for real?

As per Vox Media, the source who shared two other memos was word-to-word correct. But, they are also warning that this memo can be revised or may not see the light of the day.

2. When will President Trump sign this?

I’m clueless as you are. He announced that he’s signed an Executive Order to build the wall the day before. So, we don’t know what will happen with this leaked memo.

3. What is the Best Case Scenario?

If this memo is fake and the president doesn’t sign this or similar memo to rescind 24 Months STEM OPT or H4 EAD or other immigration provisions enacted by President Obama.

4. What is the Worst Case Scenario?

Do we really need to discuss the worst case scenario here?

5. How to get updates about this memo?

Refer to the above section – How to get breaking news updates.

6. I’m worried, what should I do next?

There’s not a lot we can do. At this time, members of  the F1 Visa Facebook group have reported about re-entry without any problems. Plus, the Travel Ban is for the 7 specific countries. If you haven’t done wrong, have all the documents, done things by the books, I think you shouldn’t have any problem.

7. Can I travel to India?

Here’s an update from a student on STEM OPT who entered USA via Chicago (ORD) on 20th Feb.

travel on stem opt extension port of entry

8. Where is STEM OPT and H4 EAD mentioned in the leaked memo?

I think it’s in the language of the Memo is written (I have highlighted them in the above screenshot). Here’s two sentences from Vox (source of leaked memo) that mentions the same:

revoke h4 ead stem opt trump

If there are further updates about the possibilities of changes to H1B Visa, H4 EAD, STEM OPT and other legal immigration visa, I will be covering them here.

Share this blog post. Spread the news. That’s a good start. Then follow this page and Happy Schools YouTube Channel for Video Updates.



  1. How is it determined that STEM OPT and H4 EAD violate the immigration laws and are not in the national interest.

    1. I agree with this statement. The document doesn’t explicitly state that STEM opt violate immigration laws in anyway and it is the secretary of Homeland that should state if it does which isn’t immediate by any chance.

  2. What about I-485 applicants who’s file is under process since 2016? Any limitations on EADs base on adjustment of status?

  3. I recieved my Stem opt card for 24 months. If trump revokes it should I leave country in 60 days ?

  4. Why are you spreading your conspiracy theories …only post when you having someone legitimate

  5. Please don’t share such news without verifying it’s authenticity. I expect HappySchools to be a credible source of information. Please be responsible and professional.

  6. I recieved my H4 EAD few months back and it is good until 2019. So are you saying it would be revoked if President signs the rule?

  7. When STEM Opt extension and H4 EAD are against the national interest. How they will justify for forming this Law at the first place.

  8. TBH, this looks to be more at targeting H1-B abuse by consulting companies that flout every possible rule in the book. There are several ‘diploma mill’ universities in the US that have a near-zero bar for admission, take the students’ money and in turn give them a diploma and hence a chance at a STEM OPT. Next students from these universities go to our lovely desi consultants who beef up their resumes to include flagrant lies about their experience, arrange proxy phone interviews for them and generally muck up the system.
    Now because of these morons, the rest of us who slogged to get admits to good schools and slogged to get jobs at respectable firms have to suffer.

  9. A very bad news to start the day, revoking h4 ead will crash the dreams of many dependents who just started or going to start to kick back their career.

  10. The US should also stop OFFERING birth citizenship to the children of foreigners. Either of the parent must be a US citizen to get the citizenship for the US born child. People are taking advantage of this from very long time.

  11. This is just to make people more panic and the get the news in circulation.
    Wait the facts will come in by end of Feb 17 , it certainly could be with restriction in inflow but not a totally bad one.

  12. The documents above does not specifically mention H4-EAD or 24 months OPT. However DHS might choose to do so. My personal opinion would be to wait and watch on this since we dont know if either of those would be changed.

  13. Practically speaking, revoking 24 Months STEM OPT doesn’t make much sense since a significant amount of money is involved in there and it’s lifeline for many underfunded US universities. There will be direct impact on the incoming international student population which has increased significantly in recent years. International student pool not only provides fresh talent groomed in the US universities and well versed with US work culture(after doing internships), it’s also way better than most of the crowd arriving on H1B through body shopping companies. Logically speaking, having spent a hefty amount on tuition and couple of years of hardship in graduate school makes them much more worthy to stay in the US for at least 3 years (12 months OPT + 24 months STEM OPT).

    H4 EAD rule, on the other hand certainly has become an easy ticket for many people(if not all).

  14. probably (if confirmed) a very very early draft which basically outlines a broad review of existing policies and nothing more. F1 or OPT is not even mentioned in the abbreviations. What the intention seems to be is to review J1-Exchange Student Visitor Visa abuse (http://www.ibtimes.com/j-1-visa-abuse-employers-exploit-foreign-students-under-us-government-program-meant-2216874). Hence the mention of J1 and the need to “review policies which are not in national interest”. Also under target is the L1 program where there is no base level cap on the number or the salary. Agricultural visa program are to be streamlined and expedited. Also abuse of Business Visas (B) which lead to employers calling in forgeign guest workers to come “temporarily” to train people here on a B visa and then replace them

  15. I doubt if review meaning cancellation of these rules. As these rules went through rule making process and followed each and every aspect of legality, I highly doubt if these two regulations will be abolished!

    Please change title of this article. It is very much misleading. The draft doesn’t say anything about H4 EAD!

  16. Stop spreading fake news to gather site visits! Fake! Fake! Fake! You are just causing unnecessary panic Mr.Raghu poor interpreter of language!

  17. Why are you translating it specific to OPT and H4 and not applying to all type of visas?

    Is there something that linked it to OPT or H4 other than being the most recent changes??

  18. Sorry to say, I think H4 EAD will(should) be revoked due to poor quality of candidates entering into IT and making real-time experience candidates life miserable.

  19. Approx Number of H4 EADs Issued till Date: 200K
    US Population : 325 Million

    This translates to .0006 % of H4 EAD holders compared to the total US population.

    .0006% would no way impact or improve United States unemployment rate or it’s economy..forget about replacing any American worker.

    Revoking H4 EAD would be one of the worst moves in the nation’s immigration history.

  20. Why are you interpreting it specific to OPT and H4 and not applying to all type of visas?

    Is there something that linked it to OPT or H4 other than being the changes during Obama regime?

  21. The H4 EAD thing was an executive action from Obama as far as I know. If so, then it can easily be revoked through another executive action by Trump.

  22. H4 EAD should be revoked. That was an absolute blunder by previous government. H4 EAD will definitely create problems as they can work for any employer. From IT to usps. That’s real threat to American people.

  23. I hate this blog so much. This guy’s an expert on how to sensationalize stuff, play into the fears of Indian population in USA to get views.

    It says all regulations. Not STEM OPT EXTENSION or H4.


  24. Hi, I am not a student now. I work on H1B visa but this surely is depressing for everyone. That said the first thing you should do is find your House representative using the school Zipcode and call them; explain how this impacts your future. Let your voices be heard so that they know that these actions are not just for illegals but also impact those who entered legaly.

    The link to government site is below.


    1. What you said is absolutely correct.

      Guys on OPT dont waste time on forums. if you want to do something or make your voice heard only local congressmen is your option.

  25. Stop sharing misleading information causing unnecessarily anxiety. Nowhere in the memo anything is mentioned about H4 EAD.

  26. Man you are just panicking people….most of them know these 2 from a list of things. You are representing as if they are banning today. change your headlines.

  27. Misguiding headline: I did not read STEM OPT or H4 anywhere. Why do you want to create panic when there is none. Anyways, what he will do is uncertain, why speculate and worry.

  28. Very vague in this draft and also any knowledge about how these rules go into action? Isn’t there a comment and review period of the DHS? That’s what happened when the previous administration tried to change the rules. If they are doing this by executive order, it just orders the DHS to look into it but I don’t read it as “revoke this right, now!”.

  29. This ia all made up. Please stop circulating information like this with no legitamate proofs.

  30. Please don’t spread rumor and I see you asking to spread this to all is a novice idea and will only give boost to happy school website let’s not tense people for your personal gain. So better wait and watch for what Mr President says

  31. Author

    I want you to go and check the first 100 or some comments for the article about STEM OPT is revoked. Everyone said the same thing. It’s Fake, It’s Fake. Well, we know what happened next.

    Some of you are thinking it’s fake. For others a way to look for Plan B.

    Example – most people probably have no clue about ACICS (because you are not impacted). Those impacted students on OPT expiring from Dec 12, 2016 can’t apply for STEM OPT Extension. I know people who OPT was expiring in End of Dec, and they can’t apply for STEM OPT (the decision came over night). You probably have not lived through scrambling at the last minute to change the status or find another way to stay in status. I read the questions that are submitted to Attorney Murali Bashyam. You will not hear such difficult experiences from those folks in public forums.

    For those who are calling this fake, if or when something like this happens, you probably don’t have time for Plan B. Example – If someone is on H4 EAD, it’s Jan 2017 now, you may have an option to ask your employer to file H1B. If your employer considers you to be a valuable resource, they could apply for H1B. If you get H1B, then you can do COS, if H4 EAD is gone.

    As you can see, we don’t know what President Trump would do or when. If you fall out of H1B cycle, who are you going to blame?

    Another group, here’s arguging, if rules have to be revoked, it has to be done Rule making and it will not happen. Just to remind you, for I-140 EAD rule, what was the impact of 1000’s of comments submitted by members asking to give EAD for I-140, ZERO Impact.

    You can argue this is fake news or go explore options. It’s easy to comment, this is fake news, but it’s extremely hard to live through a difficult immigration status battle.

    For those who are thinking, I will plan for that if (and when) things comes to that point. Well, folks, ACICS were in trouble for over a year, guess who is scrambling now? You don’t hear such stories online, why people don’t post their bad experiences of having to do things to stay legally at the last minute in public forums. But, I talk to them almost daily in on one on one calls.

    100’s of students are going to Day 1 CPT. Do you see them publicly talking about what they had to do to get a job or how many OPT students are bragging about 10 years of fake experience landed them into 150k job or folks who’s H1B was revoked after the site visit.

    I’m the messenger. You are the one who is going to face the problems. When it comes to Immigration, always have a Plan B (if you can) and be conservative and be cautious.

    1. These people will never understand that Raghu. Thanks for the knowledge you’ve provided 🙂

    2. I completely agree with Raghu here. If you want to bury your head in the sand even in light of possibly true information, feel free to do it, no one’s stopping you! Remember that this came from Vox. And it’s not word-of-mouth, those are scanned documents. If I were you, I’d start exploring plan B, or even plan C; you never know what he’ll throw at you next.

      Things like OPT and EAD for H4’s were created by Ex-Order, and they can be revoked overnight, leaving us scrambling to look for options. And if the document says “ALL immigration laws that allow foreigners to work in the US”, OPT, H4 EAD, H1, etc. all fall under this. With laws, wording really matters and it’s pretty clear to me.

    3. Raghu,

      I agree with you on the being cautious part.

      But, can you tell us if you are referring to “those regulations that violate immigration laws” or “not in the national interest” when you say Stem opt and H4 EAD fall under this. If it’s the 2nd part, I would believe that. But if it’s the 1st part, then I’m not sure how you came to this conclusion or if there’s some link that helps clarify this, can you please share the source?

      The review of OPT is clearly stated later on in “(vii)propose for notice and comment a regulation that would reform practical training programs for foreign students to prevent disadvantaging be of US students”. However, as you’ve also clearly stated, there’s nothing more to conclude from this and it’s better to be cautious which brings me to my other question.

      Do you think USCIS will process STEM OPT applications if submitted now? And how many months in advance of the start date will they process it? Do you have any idea?

    4. Raghu, keep up the good work. People want to kill the messenger because its inconvenient .If its going away no amount of ignorance is going to help. When the decision is out people will be scrambling for your help. I commend you for your efforts despite getting a lot of hate.

      Advise for people commenting based on fear and ignorance and not on facts: Get out of your bubble and start respecting some good journalism. Its will only help you.

      Thank Raghu. Keep doing what you do. Cheers!


    1. Author

      You should reread the document. For comparison- you will not find any mention of Lottery in the H1b law text. Why are we having lottery?

  33. Are you crazy or what? OPT STEM extension is NOT a violation. It IS the LAW, he might change it that’s a different issue but don’t try to sell your article by having scary headlines. Never been your fan and I like you even less.

    1. Author

      FYI — STEM Extension is not a law. It’s a Rule. You should lookup the difference.

  34. According to your website, you are on OPT..So I guess the first person who will be affected if this so called true(fake) news sees light..In that way I am happy..I think its time for you to find better jobs in life rather than rumor mongoring and playing with emotions..

  35. I will not follow this blog anymore. I read this in the morning and was thinking all day about it. My h4 EAD is on the way. Look at the share, so far 226. Wrong info, really really creating panic. This is insane.

  36. Section 4 a i focuses:
    To review regulations that allow foreign nationals to work – H4 EAD and Stem OPT fall under this category

    Determine how many such rules/regulations either violate immigration laws or against national interest – whether H4 EAD and Stem OPT fall under this category is yet to be determined

    Rescind or modify the rules

    So not sure as to how you arrived on the conclusion of H4 EAD and Stem OPT getting revoked. And at the same time you mention that you are yet to talk to a lawyer to understand this memo.

      1. Can you post the link to the source? Also where in the listed document H4 EAD or OPT is mentioned? It says” Detemine which of those violate the immigrayion law” Is H4 EAD or OPT falls under violating the law. How naive of you!!!. Do not spread false rumors.

  37. Suppose if 24 months stem opt rule was revoked
    1.what is the situation of the people who already received their 24 months opt?is it going to effect them?
    2.how about the people when is already applied for it still their case status is pending?

    If they revoke these rule there should be an effective date

    Is it easy to revoke a rule in over night

  38. Suppose if 24 months stem opt rule was revoked
    1.what is the situation of the people who already received their 24 months opt?is it going to effect them?
    2.how about the people who is already applied for it still their case status is pending?

    If they revoke these rule there should be an effective date

    Is it easy to revoke a rule in over night

  39. Here is latest FAQ on MurthyLaw:

    Is the H-4 EAD rule going to be cancelled?

    At this point, it is unclear whether the Trump administration is going to take any action related to the H-4 EAD rule. If, however, President Trump does wish to alter or undo the program, it generally could only be done by going through the entire formal rulemaking process (or by Congressional action). (26.Jan.2017) ; https://www.murthy.com/2017/01/26/understanding-the-current-administration-immigration-faqs/

  40. And to think that one of speechwriter in Trump’s team who helped propel him into office was an Indian guy (in the US on a frikkin H4 visa)!!

  41. Hi Raghu,

    Thanks for sharing latest updates and I am sure, you are always wanted to give heads up to all our Indian community. In fact, Those who all benefited in every possible way that you were delivering in one or other way during crisis. I have been following your blogs quite some time and testimonials by the folks. We all know that truth always bitter and no one wants to hear the bad news. I truly understand you are just giving heads up. For god sake, if this is not going to happen I am sure you are the first person who would deliver the happy news. If not also, You will guide or show them few options which is good for everyone who as you always do.
    Do not mind on any comments and keep doing your job. There are folks on other side who really look for some best options.

  42. Hi Raghu,
    Can you please explain how h4 ead and opt stem falls under violating the immigration law.And also it took around 3 years to became h4 ead in force and its not an execution action taken under obama rule.H4 EAD went through several process and approvals.

    Iam confused.

  43. How did the author come to a conclusion of “could be revoked” title for H4 EAD or OPT. The document mention all “foreign national working /immigration laws ” but there is no mention of revoking a particular type of EAD or OPT so dont make your assumptions headline as if it’s a direct order. This is applicable to all other visas in that case H1 /L1.

  44. Raghu,

    I spent a lot of time on your blog. More than half a day I lived in panic after living this article, on what to do, whom to talk to, what are the options, should we move back to India,……
    I understand your intention of alerting users with latest news and giving them time to react if something goes wrong. But you could have chosen to subtle title, something like “OPT extension and H4 EAD can be in trouble” or “It might get tougher for immigrants to live in USA”.

    Bad news don’t create panic but the way it’s delivered can push away readers.

    Anyway, thanks for your efforts to help immigrant community.

  45. Totally fake, following your logic the entire H1B program might be scrapped. Saying you’re doing to prepare your readers for the worst case scenario this is such a populist move – it’s not like people reading the blog weren’t expecting changes in immigration policies. But yeah let’s spread more fear based on a unconfirmed memo from VOX (liberal media known for bullshitting) AND making up random interpretations of it.

    Clickbait article

  46. Author

    I reached out to the reporter who wrote the original story on Vox. I have helped her with one of her previous articles. I will post an update if I hear back.

    H4 EAD and STEM OPT were implemented via Rule Making. Another Rule Making process can be done to cancel them out or improve or restrict them.

    No one was serious about the “Wall”. People all said it was just a campaign promise. But, the Wall is here via an Executive Order. We don’t know what will happen, but be ready for stricter laws and enforcements. And I have updated the title (as per everyone request).

    I don’t want to see STEM OPT or H4 EAD to be impacted, but H1B and L1A Visa, defenitelfy needs reform. I’m sure you would agreee to this. New Bill from Congresswoman Lofgren is also published. Details Here – https://www.happyschools.com/h1b-visa-bills-green-card-bills-status/ and Pending Decision on H1B Lottery Lawsuit.

    1. Lofgren is a Democrat. There’s no way a Republican controlled Senate is going to pass a bill introduced by a Democrat, even if it’s the best thing to do for the country’s interest.

  47. Hi Raghu,

    I remember the day you have said about 17 month Stem OPT Revoke no one believed. It came in light and ever one was awe struck and you have also promoted to sign the petition too. Thanks for you’re help.

    Now it’s the same. Who knows the source you got may be true. President Trump he can take any drastic decisions ( Already proved by earlier new 4 signs). The committee which was placed by in early Dec – Jan should have found a way to cease everything.

    H1B, OPT, H4 EAD & Out Sourcing

    Increase in H1B Salary (100k)
    No Lottery for H1B
    OPT Revoke & H4 EAD Revoke
    ASCIS accreditation loss

    Clearly we are getting played by their rules by changing them overnight.
    One ultimate goal, End the outsiders get the insiders(But do they have the right resources?).

    Also can order all the companies to hire people on Citizen/GC. Already there is huge impact in every organizations(Many layoffs). Market already got affected with it. No one is ready to hire an OPT.

    So if things were going to end this way, can’t we do anything else just packing our bag and going back.

    1) Does the petition(Similar to 17 month revoke) will help to any certain extent?
    2) Any way Congress can support Legal immigrants atleast people came on F1 is expected?

    I believe President Trump can revoke the Stem extension in over night, since it was not approved by Congress. President Obama has made this decision.

    Just thinking going to back to India and start doing things from again Zero. More over there are 1 Engineer in a family, outsourcing gets affected, just see how hard it will be to get a job who would pay 500$ per month.

    This is a depressing thing to see in and around , just post any betters things to do after this happens. If this won’t happen that’s great.

    Thanks for your help

  48. @AJ
    “(But do they have the right resources?).”
    Seriously you had to inject that? Are you really that naïve to think that the US doesn’t have the right resources, or are you playing dumb?

    “just packing our bag and going back”
    Yes, please leave as soon as possible. We voted for Trump to undo this BS that Obama has put in place allowing endless number of Indians to work in the US.

    1. @EndThisScam I am glad Americans voted for Trump. I think Trump should get re-elected as well. It was great to see corporate Democrats get defeated this time. It would be even sweeter to see the nation regret Trump as well: repeal and no replacement of ACA, massive cuts in social security, medicare, medicaid, large tax cuts to corporations, and derail all EPA regulations. Once the poor and middle class get thoroughly destroyed by both corporate democrats and republicans, perhaps Americans can start to think of real progressive policies. Until then, no need to worry Indians. There will always be loop holes to do slave labor in USA. USA was built on slave labor and it’s in the interest of the economic elite to continue the status quo, irrespective of who is the President.

    2. @EndThisScam
      I am sure you have no clue what you are talking about. There are close to 6 Million people working in tech industry on H1B Visa. Do you think US have 6 Million college passout sitting at home who will take the job after all the H1B guys will leave?

  49. This decision is right. My friend from India got job in intel San Diego. After 28 months, they fired 34 people from his group. My friend was holding H1B visa. Eventually he end-up going to Indian and his 28 American teammates lost job. When they inquired about mass firing, intel seniors told” because of cost cutting measures we are outsourcing these jobs to intel india limited”.

    1. @Aj
      please give a thought before saying “US lacks talent pool”. First of all,I think us residents started all these companies which employed plenty of non resident population. It’s stupid to comment my country lacks talented people. Yes, H4 ead is violation of constitutional right. It’s Obama who gave big benefit to immigrants “wife” i-140 got approved. Raguram is right.Con Edison California fired 500 employees and hired all Indian cheap H1B holders. On average loan on each resident American is 34k$. How much money these h4ead pays here,nothing! Right? We did not ask student to come to usa and study here. It’s completely matter of choice. What is benefit of studying from shitty college here? just for sake of ead card? I hope soon this executive action will be implemented and millions of corporate jobs will be available to residents.

      1. My query is very simple….OPT Extension is given to the Student who do their Graduate or Undergraduate in US right,then why should that is needed to be revoked.


        Can you please clarify my below mentioned query:

        1.If H1 B lottery is not picked up, and also after the OPT over do we need to go back to India or all the students who have their Master’s from a University(by the way I am referring good university) can get H1 B.

        2.I am supporting President to reduce the H1B for the companies from India,but he can support Indian Students who have studied either Graduate or Undergrad here in US(in F1 Visa).

      2. Intel and Qualcomm are no different than Indian IT sweat shops like TCS, Infosys etc. It is only karma thats coming back to them. I’ve worked at both in SD. The type of employees I worked with Indian or American, most of them are not talented. Most Americans are good managers and few are good engineers. So that’s why you need talented H1Bs to do work for you. Said that, there are some really talented Indians and other H1Bs working in these companies creating the IP for them. You don’t know anything because you didn’t work there. That’s why you are stereotyping all H1Bs into cheap job stealers.

        Many of us hardworking people have spent almost a decade on the path to the green card and still it is not in sight just because we’re from India. I know two Turkish and a South American guy who got their green card in less than 2 years. And then I see stupid people like you who think that our spouse should not even work because she didn’t “study” in US and paid taxes. Should they just sit on their ass and do nothing? Giving an EAD doesn’t mean you’re giving them a job. You’re just giving them a chance to find a job which makes workplace competitive. That’s what many of you Americans are scared of…..competition. Your people think they’re entitled to jobs just because they’re Americans without ever competing with anyone better. Fortunately, many big companies don’t care about the nationality but only talent and they don’t think like you.

  50. Will the students who are currently in 24 stem extension will also get deprived of their work rights?

  51. Hi Raghu

    I have just heard that some of the H1B visa holders who have been to their respective home countries have to get visa stamped again for extension have been rejected. My brother in law works on H1B was told by his company’s attorney not to visit India now. I also read a post by a greencard holder saying that ” his attorney suggested him not to visit Mexico now because he might get deported while returning.? Will it be a problem if we visit India now? Do you have any updates on this.


    Respectfully submitted
    Raghu G

  52. All People wondering the source :


    Eric Ruark, director of research at Arlington, Va.-based NumbersUSA, which advocates for limited immigration, said Mr. Trump could use an executive directive to tighten the U.S.’s Optional Practical Training, or OPT, program.

    The OPT program gives foreign graduates in fields like science, technology, engineering or math the right to find jobs in the U.S. for up to 36 months, depending on their degree subject.

    Mr. Trump could roll the time limit back to the original 12 months, the threshold until it was expanded under President George W. Bush in 2008, and tighten the eligible fields of study.

  53. I am totally scared by trump executive orders. Yesterday, he signed ex action to banned muslims immigrants from few countries. He also told he is going to sign few more executive orders next weeks. Many people have made fun of this news which is ridiculous. I am jobless, my opt will expire in few months. No one wants to take opt students and specially NON IT. Only handful of people got job through consultancy, unfortunately, and they were also fired by companies after few days. We have paid lot of money in tuition fee. I am really scared. I do not know whether I will get opt ex or H1B this year. I do not want to join any cpt college because I do not have funds for that. Please suggest me some solutions.

      1. Don’t worry buddy, we’re all set to pack our bags and go back home as many Indians already did…..after 4 years of Trump administration, may be US nationals will be standing in line for Somalian visa LOL. Anyways, India has enough human resources and won’t have to depend on US nationals to meet our needs.

      2. This is not a troll site. If you don’t have any constructive feedback, you should get off this website.

    1. Don’t be scared. No where in the order its mentioned about revoking, it talks abt review of all regulations which violates the immigration laws. the Title of the article is totally misleading.

      1. Well, Trump’s exec order about Muslim Refugee Ban never said anything about blocking Green card holders from those countries from entering the US. They were still barred from entering and were kept in detention for hours. Trump’s XO said one thing, and the CBP officials all over the country were given incongruous directives and this resulted in so much confusion.

        It’s all in the words. If the XO says ” ‘Review’ ALL visas that give foreigners the right to work in the US”, as the document says, the USCIS and other agencies will interpret it as including all the following visas: F1 (incl. CPT, OPT), H1b, H4 EAD, L1, J1, etc etc. The important term is review all visas. What does that mean. Does it mean a 180 day freeze on H1s and Trump suggested earlier, or an indefinite ban on new work visas until “he figures out what the hell is going on”?

  54. Been a hell of a week, it’s shameful for an educated person to be told that
    You can’t be here…. After 14 years its just heart breaking….
    Felt like humiliated…..ripped all the dreams apart.
    Don’t know the future…..just want to keep on going till it all ends.

  55. Goal of the article is to spread the word create publicity and Panic. Pls read the Q and A “6. I’m worried, what should I do next?
    Share this blog post. Spread the news. That’s a good start. Then follow this page and Happy Schools YouTube Channel for Video Updates.” I am definitely not going to create rumour and spread panic.

  56. America is graduating 2 times as many tech workers as there are job opennings and 2/3 of entry level tech jobs go Indians coming here.

    That leaves US citizens unemployed and living on the streets.

    Indians are just like the blacks on the plantation. It is time to end slavery and it is time to allow Americans to work in America.

    Indians need to go back to India and work in India.

    1. Yeah Right!! Because I see so many highly qualified US citizens who are engineers with a B.S, M.S., or a PhD. sitting on the streets begging for money!

    2. Remember, US needs skilled immigrants more than skilled immigrants need the US

  57. Hi Raghu,

    Thanks for providing this information. I really appreciate that you are putting your time in providing these informations. I was wondering like one of the Executive Order from the leaked ones got into action yesterday, so there may be chances that other Executive Orders may also come into affect in near future. In case, if the Executive Order “Protecting American Jobs and Workers by Strengthening the Integrity of Foreign Worker Visa Programs” came into affect and they plan to reform the OPT Extension then will it go through the rule making process or is it like the President can just revoke it with just a single signature?
    Also, you mentioned that you are going to talk to attorney to understand the Executive Order. So did you got a chance to talk to attorney and if so, would you please let us know what the attorney think about the changes that can be brought using this order. I know and agree that these leaked drafts have created anxiety among the international students and its really hard for them to accept the fact that this executive order can come into affect. Also I think the same as you that we should have a Plan B since this issue can cause a huge impact on someones career. Please let us know if you got a chance to know more about this order so that we can plan accordingly.

    Dinesh Singh

  58. I watched a recent Trump’s video on YouTube “https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qqSQ5z7LdzM”. He said he do not wish to lose M.S students who studied here, for reasons a, b, c.. Following this video, I thought M.S students might get benefitted under Trump’s admin. However, after hearing about this OPT extension news, I am not able to deduce anything about his plan. Raghu- I believe you might have already watched this video. Could you please share your opinion on this?

    1. I agree with you, as a matter of fact, Trump has repeatedly stated that talent should be retained here. He even pushed against Steve Bannon on a 2015 radio show where Bannon was suggesting we shouldn’t allow outsiders to work here at all.
      The problem is, as of now, President Steve Bannon is dictating the policies and Trump is signing off on them. If I were you (I’m also on OPT, after getting a M.S. and a PhD.), I’d be preparing to pack my bags in case the worst happens.

  59. OPT is not to repay tuition fee. I guess everyone agrees with that. I think anyone can look at UK, Canada and Australia. I think best option is Canada which have better path to jobs after school.
    Please don’t take OPT and H1 as granted that if you paid 100K in school fee then everyone must get a job and can repay loans even been not a citizen of this country. Even US Citizens find it difficult to find job and pay back huge loans.
    Whoever come to US had shown money to consulate for their tuition fee now if we don’t get a job, no one guaranteed that.

    1. Ok, so now you won’t allow my last comment to pass through. I thought it was neutral and not derogatory. Or was it that it would have calmed a lot of students.
      Not an issue, your website your rules.
      Have a nice day 🙂


      1. Author

        How can I approve if you copy paste the entire content? Have you read their sites copyright policy? Why don’t you publish with your full name and contact info. And add a sentence – “Im liable for future actions for publishing copyrighted contents – Not Happy Schools”.

        1. Author

          Sorry, I take this back. My bad. I approved your comment. I can’t approve the same moment you post something. I check like 3 times a day for comment moderation. There are several others comments that are copy paste from others sites.

  60. Hi Raghu,

    Thanks a lot for sharing the information. I graduated in May, 2016 and on F1-OPT now. If the opt stem extension is revoked, is it going to affect the people who are going to apply for extension now?


  61. Hi Everyone,

    There is definitely a cause of concern for all the international students on OPT here. For the one’s who are saying, OPT is not for repaying fees; but common on you have to see the facts here, most of the students come to US by taking loans and on OPT they earn and pay them back, this is not the case with only Indians, but students from other countries take loans too and use OPT to pay back. So, this draft is definitely a cause of concern.

    Coming back to the draft, you can read it here: https://cdn0.vox-cdn.com/uploads/chorus_asset/file/7872567/Protecting_American_Jobs_and_Workers_by_Strengthening_the_Integrity_of_Foreign_Worker_Visa_Programs.0.pdf.
    From what I can comprehend, the Secretary of Homeland Security has been given the task to review all the regulations that allow foreigners to work here in the US (This means people on H1, OPT, L1….)and basically see if there are violating any national interests and then come up with a conclusion whether some of this rules needs to be further modified or rescinded (cancelled).
    Now with respect to OPT extension, nothing is mentioned directly about cancelling it altogether. It will be going through scrutiny, that’s for sure. But, before coming up with any conclusion they will definitely factor in all the scenarios and after effects that this can have.

    Some more Gyaan 😛
    Although, US universities do not run because of we international students, but in worst case scenario if they can cancel OPT extension, international students will definitely find some other student friendly countries to study in, and these will severely impact the graduate schools within these Universities which comprises of mostly international students. And here I am talking about thousands of students.

    PS: These are my personal views. No personal comments. Also, I am no attorney, I am just a aam Indian student on OPT.

    Also, thanks Raghu for keeping us Up-to-date with all the news. 🙂

    1. I can confidently say that, There is no other international student friendly country than USA. Look at UK and Australia.They just send the students back once graduated from university. Dont ever think of Europe, If you can;t speak German/french.

      1. Thanks for your concern about Indians future prospects elsewhere. First of all, why do you think, after here all Indians are going to go to EU, we have a politically stable country with booming economy. May be just a quick comparison of JFK and Mumbai international airport will tell you where things are headed for both countries. Even your president has said that US infra structure is in ruins. Second, how many languages most Americans can speak, barely one language, correct. Most Indians can handle multiple languages without any trouble. Politicians have made false promises even in the past but never went this far. All I can tell you is, please drop this whole idea of Indians will go up in flames without America. May be this is what’s gonna happen, more Silicon Valley companies will move their operation base to India and other countries where there is plenty of human resource. This is a place where people discuss their concerns, so if you’ve nothing to contribute shut up and take care of your loved ones.

  62. Thanks Raghu for informing everyone in advance. It’s upto people if they want to use this information to plan alternatives if they think they can be affected if this becomes a reality.

    Everyone one knows that the H1B lottery process is flawed as it does not do justice behind it’s initiation. It was designed to bring highly skilled talent to serve US industries BUT…..People exploited it, specially Indians, Indian IT firms and Desi consulting firms in US. Everyone knows undeserving people pay these desi consulting firms to file multiple petitions for lottery (This is illegal). On top of that, they fake resumes, information relating to visa, arrange proxy interviews. A lot of these people get fired within a week after they join client because they don’t know anything. This practice has been followed for more than decade but the things have become worse now. The deserving talented pool is not able to find good high paying jobs.

    Request to Raghu and any Media house reading this : Raghu you have so many contacts in newspapers and media, why don’t you do a story and expose this practice ? Enough is Enough.

    1. Author

      I did talk to few reported. But for a major outlet to publish such story, they want whistle blowers. It’s really hard to an H1b workers come and say that hey took part in such practice, while putting their status in jeopardy. Majorly publications don’t use false names.

    2. I strongly support this. Abuse needs to end,It is getting worst each day.

  63. So what happens to those who already received their EAD (H4 or OPT)? Does that mean their EAD is cancelled or would this be applicable only for new/pending applications?

  64. Hello,
    The leaked memo doesn’t specifically mention any revocation of OPT STEM, it only mentions about review of practical training programs. I understand that revocation may result as a result of review, but isn’t it too early to say that it will be revoked? Any clarification by anyone would help. Thanks!


    1. correct. I was also looking for words like rescind/revoke wrt to STEM OPT but could not find any. It emphasizes the protection of American students in the job market.

  65. I am traveling to India on 2nd Feb till March 5th. Is it safe to travel on stem opt or should I postpone? My stem opt started in Nov 2016. Please advice.

    1. I think, you are fine. I have friends on OPT who reached US without any hassle after the ban. I personally am in the same boat, left before the ban and will return next week.

      1. Guys.. Please keep us posted on returning students with valid F-1 Post completion OPT.. Many are are similar situation.. I have my OPT (12 months) ending in July 2017. Booked tickets to India for Feb 25th and return on March 27th. Now I’m concerned whether to travel or not. Any inputs would help.

        1. Hello,
          I am currently under STEM OPT and working as a Full-Time Employee at XYZ and I have a plan to travel India from Feb 16th to Mar 14th 2017. Is it safe to travel in the current situation (With all the required documents) ? Do you know any one who did come back recently or would come in next few days ? It would be nice to share their experience here.


        2. I marked my calendar for March 27th. Please share your experience here after you return back.

  66. Hi Friends,

    I was on OPT extension, I recently got married and converted to H4 in NOVEMBER. Later Trump stated that he will be cancelling H4EAD. Now can any one say me, If they revoke H4 EAD will I get my OPT status again? Please help i’m totally worried 🙁

    1. Unfortunately, as far as I know, once you file for and are granted a CoS, the F1 (and thus the OPT) becomes invalid. In order to get OPT again, you’d have to get another F1. Hope that made sense.

  67. Posting this question again: What happens to those who already received their EAD (H4 or OPT)? Does that mean their EAD is cancelled or would this be applicable only for new/pending applications?

      1. Haha! That would be really difficult now, wouldn’t it 😉

        I was essentially referring to just the term ‘revoke’ in the draft. As clueless as anyone here

  68. I would like to urge people to not panic a lot. Even the immigration executive order that people are considering very drastic measure, which it is to some extent, is done in a way that there are not very strong repercussions like some countries whose citizens in past have done harm to the US are not included in the ban list just because US has strategic relations with those countries. So, my guess is similarly, revoking OPTs or banning H1Bs will have very serious consequences so it is not definitely going to be done in an executive order drafted in 2-3 days. After all, there are republicans involved who favor corporate-friendly policies. Having said that, globalization obviously is creating problems for US workers, or at least some people feel that, but solving it to benefit everyone’s interest will require some comprehensive solution than just some executive orders in 2-3 days.

    1. I think you are right no need to panic. his intention is to stop overseas on H1B visas and i think he might just let F1 students who graduate from US universities direct H1B route without lottery system. so guys just chill all students working under OPT might get a pleasant surprise gift from Trump. 🙂

  69. TV, Print, Internet media is just creating too much panic. I don’t know why people are posting these kind of leaked information, which could be fake. Unless specified by USCIS, why to worry?

  70. Hello Raghu,
    I understand you are not an expert but your suggestion would be appreciated. I recently got my 24 month STEM OPT approved and planned a 3 week vacation from Feb 15th to March 11th. Seeing the draft order(if we believe it is the final one)which seems to state that, committee needs to study and revoke STEM OPT if necessary with in 90 days of the order.
    My questions are in the case of the order getting passed while I am in India and there is a 90 day period for the committee to decide on whether or not to revoke the STEM OPT Extension, would you think if there would be any issue while I am coming back.

  71. People shud stop this stupidity and start looking for other options.
    For an indian F1 to Green card is at least 15-20 years…or more
    The question is, is it really worth it?
    Opt is going to be reduced to 2 years.
    H4 Ead is going to be gone for good.
    What r u holding on to, which is never going to exist in future.
    In future they will open up skilled based immigration, and reducing family based.
    No body knows the timeline to it.
    I assume this year 400,000 people will apply for 85,000 slots for H1B.
    Since trump may make changes to h1b starting this year end.
    american dream is over for people coming on F1 visa…stop screwing up your life.
    If the country needs people it will open its arm and welcome you…like australia and NZ, Canada. You shud go where people want you.
    Not like places to US and UK they don’t any more people…brexit and trump.

    1. Bummer!!!… US will not close the door. Developed countries need to be one step ahead in all the sectors and how can they be without fresh talents? This country is and will be surviving only with smart brains. It doesn’t matter whether you agree or not but these sentiments are well echoed by industries. Students if you think you have the right talent (Do some self-assessment) and can stand out in the crowd then you should not worry about all these things. So for those immigrants, (OPT-STEM, H1B, H4EAD) just don’t just bang your head and try not to find a reason to justify your existence. All sectors are revisiting what they are doing. You are in a country where innovation is the bread and butter and you have to be super flexible to the change. In fact, you should be one step ahead to bring these innovations to the table. And for the Citizen, who was once an immigrant (check your history – 10,20 or even 100 years), it applies to you, as the status doesn’t add additional brains. Stay smart or so-called future citizens who are smart will remove you. If you are really worried by fake individuals, EB1C in which few are average, then this country will be brutal, as they will be removed sooner than later. There are a lot of openings and we get hundreds of profile but pity we are not able to find a good talent (Your legal status as no weight when you cannot do the job). So please invest some quality time in you and be useful to this country.

  72. The STEM OPT Repeal is coming due to a court case between Washtech and DHS. You were right. They have already created problems in H4EAD and now they are targetting STEM OPT.

  73. I’m currently working full-time on H1B and my wife is studying full-time on H4. She has B.Com from India which is not considered equivalent to US 4 years bachelor’s degree. So, she is enrolled into special program to finish her US equivalent bachelor’s degree. She will be graduating with Bachelor’s in Business Administration in Oct 2017. My permanent residency application is currently in the process and they’re nearing the end of recruitment process. I should expect to have my PERM filed by beginning or mid-May. Presently, it takes approximately 2-3 months to get the PERM certified speaking on the base of my colleague’s application. So, if mine also gets certified by the end of July and my employer agrees to submit 140 application with premium processing by end of Aug, I should be targeting mid-Sept to initiate the H4 EAD application for my wife under the assumption of approved 140. According to recent updates, Trump administration appealed court to delay decision of H-4 EAD appeal until 09/27/2017. Now, we cannot be certain of the outcome. So, my dilemma is whether to submit COS application for convert my wife’s status from H4 to F1 and apply for OPT or remain on H4 and apply for EAD.

    1. Author

      Million Dollar Question. I’m not sure if there’s a right answer. You have to find the pros, cons and risks with each option.

      1. Thank you for you honest opinion Raghu! I’m leaning more towards F1 OPT for now till we have some clarity on H4 EAD rule.

  74. Hey Ajay! Thank you for all your efforts in helping out students. Very very helpful.I applied for my opt Extension April 13th,2017 and it was received by USCIS on April 14th,2017. I received a text message from USCIS about my case receipt number on April 20th,2017. The message also read ‘Official Receipt Notice (Form I-797) to follow in mail’. I still have not received my receipt notice by mail. When i track my case on USCIS website it says to contact them after May 14th if i did not receive the mail before that. I do have my receipt number but no receipt notice by mail. Is there anything i should do now?Please help me out. Your inputs are much appreciated. Thanks!

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