USCIS Publishes F-1 STEM Regulation and Expands Employment Authorization to 24 Months
On August 12, 2015 the US District Court for the District of Columbia struck down USCIS’ regulation permitting F-1 students holding Science Technology Engineering and Math (“STEM”) degrees to receive an additional seventeen months of practical training employment authorization. The Court held that USCIS violated the Administrative Procedures Act by failing to make the rule available for public comment before implementation. Click here to read the decision from the court and here to read our prior blog post on this case. The court stayed its ruling for six months to permit USCIS to cure its failure to conduct notice and comment rulemaking.
Earlier this week, the US Citizenship and Immigration Service published its F-1 STEM employment authorization regulation for comment. Click here to read the proposed regulation. In the newly published regulation, USCIS proposes to enlarge the post-graduate employment authorization for F-1 STEM graduates from seventeen to twenty-four months. Combined with the twelve months of optional practical training employment authorization available to any F-1 students, STEM graduates of US universities will be permitted to remain in and work in the United States for three years. USCIS will accept comments from the general public for until November 18, 2015, and then publish the final rule.