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A Preview of Business Immigration in 2016: OPT (Part 2/6)

From proposals to overhaul OPT to decreasing the number of H-1Bs, 2016 is already proving to be an interesting year for business immigration. In a series of posts, the Mintz Levin team will provide an overview of the cases,...more

Emergency Action Taken to Extend STEM OPT Program Rule Through May 2016

As reported in our November 2, 2015 blog post, the present STEM OPT rule which allows F-1 students with U.S. degrees in science, technology, engineering or mathematics (STEM) to extend their optional practical training (OPT)...more

Obama’s Executive Actions on Immigration: An Update to Two Key Initiatives Designed to Enhance the Employment of Highly Skilled...

In November 2014, President Obama issued a number of executive actions designed to make significant changes to the U.S. immigration system. The most controversial initiatives were the deferred action policies aimed at...more

DHS’s Deadline to Promulgate Final STEM OPT Regulations Extended to May 10, 2016

On January 23, 2016, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia granted the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) request to extend the deadline to finalize the new set of Optional Practical Training (OPT)...more

STEM OPT Update: Program Remains Valid Through May 10, 2016

On January 23, 2016, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia granted a motion to extend the stay of vacatur of the current STEM Optional Practical Training (OPT) program until May 10, 2016, providing the...more

Court Allows DHS Until May 10, 2016, to Issue New STEM OPT Rule

The U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia gave the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) until May 10, 2016, to correct the procedural defects to its STEM OPT rule. The prior deadline had been February 12, 2016, to...more

April 1, 2016 - H-1B “Lottery” Begins Again!

USCIS to accept new H-1B filings beginning April 1, 2016. Filing by April 7th will be critical: U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services will start accepting filings of new H-1B petitions on April 1st for the fiscal year...more

DHS is granted an extension of existing STEM OPT rule through May 12, 2016

To the relief of thousands of foreign nationals and many U.S. businesses and higher education institutions, on January 23, 2016, the federal district court in Washington D.C. presiding over Washington Alliance of Technology...more

Breaking Immigration News: F-1 OPT STEM Decision Extended Until May 10, 2016; Gives DHS Additional Time to Implement Final Rule

On January 23, 2016, Judge Huvelle of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia granted a motion to extend the current stay of her prior order which will allow the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to utilize...more

“H-1B Season” to begin April 1, 2016 – Employer Action Needed Now

USCIS Will Complete the H-1B Cap Random Selection Process on April 7th - NOW is the time to identify employees who may need H-1B status to continue working in the United States and begin preparations to file an H-1B petition...more

Good News for F-1 International Students: STEM OPT Authorization Allowed Beyond February 12

Federal court rules to allow limited relief of court’s order to May 10, 2016. On January 23, Federal Court Judge Ellen Segal Huvelle granted a request by the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to delay the possible...more

Immigration Update: Court grants government extension request for OPT STEM rule

An update to the notice we posted last week about the ongoing STEM OPT litigation: The court, in Washington Alliance of Technology Workers v. U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security, granted the government (Department of...more

Update on STEM OPT Litigation

Many of you are following the STEM OPT saga closely. As the original deadline of February 12, 2016, approaches, we are providing this brief update. As background, the OPT (optional practical training) program is part...more

Proposed Rule Would Expand Cap Exempt Status for Non-Profit Entities that are 'Related or Affiliated' with Institutions of Higher...

On December 30, 2015, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued a proposed rule to amend certain regulations related to employment-based immigrant and nonimmigrant visa programs. One of the key proposed changes is an...more

Obama Administration Announces $100 million in TechHire Grants to Support IT, Cybersecurity, Broadband Sector Training

On November 17, 2015, the Department of Labor (DOL) and the White House issued a funding announcement releasing $100 million in grants as a part of the Obama Administration’s TechHire Initiative, which specifically calls out...more

New Department of Homeland Security Regulation Aims to Preserve and Enhance STEM OPT Program for Nonimmigrant Students and U.S....

On October 19, 2015, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) published a notice of proposed rulemaking in the Federal Register regarding optional practical training (OPT) extensions for F-1 students with U.S. degrees...more

F-1 Optional Practical Training Proposed Rule Released; Work Authorization Expanded for STEM Students

The long-awaited proposed rule on F-1 Optional Practical Training (OPT) was published in the Federal Register on October 19, 2015, by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The proposed rule is titled “Improving and...more

Contingency Planning for the Upcoming H-1B Season

The H-1B non-immigrant visa allows foreign workers in certain occupations to legally live and work in the United States for a U.S. employer. In recent years, a growing number of foreign workers have applied for H-1B visas,...more

DHS Publishes STEM OPT Rule - Potential New Benefits and Requirements

On Monday, October 19, 2015, the Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”) published its eagerly anticipated STEM Optional Practical Training (“OPT”) rule in the Federal Register for a 30-day comment period ending on November...more

You Down with OPT? DHS Proposes Longer Post-Graduate Work Authorization for STEM Graduates, with a Catch

Last week, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued a proposed rule that would amend its F-1 nonimmigrant student visa regulations regarding optional practical training (OPT) for students with higher education degrees...more

Proposed New Rule May Save the STEM OPT Program

The optional practical training (OPT) program allows students here on an F-1 visa (who have either graduated or been pursuing a degree for 9 months) to work in their chosen field of study for one year. In 2008, the U.S....more

DHS Submits New STEM OPT Rule for Comment

Today, October 19, the Department of Homeland Security submitted a proposed rule modifying the existing optional practical training (“OPT”) available to certain students with degrees in science, technology, engineering, or...more

Proposed DHS Rule May Save OPT STEM Extension

Foreign national students in F-1 status are generally allowed to apply for and obtain a one-year work permit, referred to as Optional Practical Training (OPT). Certain students degrees from U.S. universities in specific...more

Update on STEM OPT Work Permit Extension: Administrative Process for Regulation Is Underway

In response to Judge Ellen Segal Huvelle’s ruling in Washington Alliance of Technology Workers v. U.S. Department of Homeland Security et al., No. 14-529 (August 12, 2015) that vacated the previous regulations on STEM...more

Employers Must Withhold FICA Taxes for Students who Change Status to H-1B Starting October 1

As students and scholars’ status change from F-1, J-1 or other FICA exempt statuses to H-1B starting October 1, these employees will become subject to FICA taxes upon the effective date of their H-1B status....more

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