OPT STEM Extension Applications Denied in Error

Explore:  STEM USCIS

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced recently that it has come to the attention of its Service Center Operations (SCOPS) that certain optional practical training (OPT) science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) extension applications were denied in error. The announcement stated that the applications were not adjudicated in accordance with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) OPT policy guidance. The OPT STEM extension applications were reportedly denied because students intended to work as volunteers or unpaid interns during their periods of extension. However, according to Section 7.2.1 of SEVP’s OPT 2010 Policy Guidance, a student may work at least 20 hours per week as an unpaid volunteer or intern. All USCIS service centers have been instructed on the policy guidance to prevent the error going forward.


Topics:  STEM, USCIS

Published In: Immigration Updates, Labor & Employment Updates

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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