U.S. district court dismisses legal challenge to rule allowing 24-month STEM OPT extensions

News Release from Jewell Stewart & Pratt – April 21, 2017 On March 11, 2016, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) published a Final Rule that provided for, among other items, 24-month extensions to Optional Practical Training (OPT) work authorization for foreign nationals in F-1 student visa status who would otherwise be limited to twelve months of OPT. See our blog post discussing the rule here.

On June 17, 2016 this new Final Rule became the subject of a lawsuit before the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. On April 19, 2017, however, the court dismissed the lawsuit. The court found that the plaintiffs failed to state a claim upon which relief could be granted.

The Final Rule therefore remains in force: 24-month extensions to post-completion OPT are still available in appropriate circumstances, and prior grants of such OPT remain valid. The plaintiffs have not yet announced whether they will appeal the decision.

© Jewell Stewart & Pratt 2017