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[sent to all F-1 students with STEM majors on 1/26/2016]:
As many of you are aware, the existing STEM OPT program has been undergoing some significant changes following last summer's court decision. We are writing to inform you that the February 12, 2016 deadline that the court imposed on the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to introduce a new STEM OPT rule has now been extended until May 10, 2016. ISSS will continue to recommend STEM extensions until that time.
Last summer, a U.S. District Court found that DHS did not follow the proper procedures when implementing the STEM extension and instructed DHS to implement a new rule by February 12, 2016. In October, DHS did indeed release a proposed new rule with a comment period ending on November 18, 2015, to which it received more than 50,000 comments, including one submitted by Penn. Over the weekend, the Court granted DHS' motion to extend the deadline so that it may properly review all submitted comments.
As always, we will continue to monitor the situation closely and will keep you informed as any new updates occur.
[sent to all F-1 students with STEM majors on 11/18/2015]:
As many of you are aware, the existing STEM OPT program is undergoing some significant changes following last summer's court decision. On October 19, 2015 the Department of Homeland Security released a proposed new rule with a comment period ending November 18, 2015, in the hope that it may be implemented in time for the February 12, 2016 deadline imposed by the Court.
Earlier this week, ISSS submitted its comment on behalf of the University. We voiced our overall support for the continuation of the STEM OPT program, as well as pointed out some provisions in the rule that might be improved or clarified.
If you would like to read the proposed rule in its entirety, you may find it here:
We hope to see a new rule published and implemented in a timely manner that will not delay or impede your career plans. ISSS understands that this is of great concern to our past and continuing students and we will continue to monitor the situation closely. We will keep you informed as any new updates occur.
[sent to all F-1 students with STEM majors on 8/17/2015]:
We write to let you know that there has been a recent US District Court decision regarding STEM OPT. The court found that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) did not follow the proper procedures when implementing the STEM extension. The existing rule will remain in effect as is until February 12, 2016, during which time DHS will be given the opportunity to properly introduce a new rule. We, along with the rest of the international academic community, are hopeful that DHS will successfully publish its new regulations in time to meet the court's deadline.
While we can't yet predict how any changes may impact our students, ISSS understands that this is a concern for many members of our international community and is monitoring the situation closely. We will keep you informed as any new updates occur.