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8 CFR 214.16

Transition Procedures for OPT Applications for Employment Authorization

Effective May 10, 2016 through May 10, 2019

214.16(a)

(a) STEM OPT Applications for Employment Authorization that are filed prior to, and remain pending on May 10, 2016.

214.16(a)(1)

(1) On or after May 10, 2016, USCIS will issue Requests for evidence (RFEs) to students whose applications for a 17-month OPT extension under the rule issued at 73 FR 18944 are still pending. The RFEs will request documentation that will establish that the student is eligible for a 24-month OPT extension under 8 CFR 214.2(f)(10)(ii)(C), including a Form I-20 endorsed on or after May 10, 2016, indicating that the Designated School Official (DSO) recommends the student for a 24-month OPT extension and that the requirements for such an extension have been met. Submission of the Form I-20 in response to an RFE issued under 8 CFR 214.16(a) will be regarded as fulfilling the requirement in 8 CFR 214.2(f)(11)(i) that a student must initiate the OPT application process by requesting a recommendation for OPT by his or her DSO.

214.16(a)(2)

(2) Forms I-765 that are filed prior to, and remain pending on, May 10, 2016, will be regarded as being covered by 8 CFR 214.2(f)(11)(i)(C) and 8 CFR 274a.12(b)(6)(iv).

214.16(b)

(b) STEM OPT Applications for Employment Authorization that are filed and approved before May 10, 2016. A student whose Form I-765 is filed and approved prior to May 10, 2016 will be issued an Employment Authorization Document, Form I-766, that is valid for 17 months even if the student requested a 24-month OPT extension.

214.16(c)

(c) Students with 17-Month STEM OPT employment authorization.

214.16(c)(1)

(1) Subject to paragraph (c)(3) of this section, any Employment Authorization Document, Form I-766, indicating a 17-month OPT extension under the rule issued at 73 FR 18944 that has been issued and is valid prior to May 10, 2016 remains valid until such Form I-766 expires or is terminated or revoked under 8 CFR 274a.14, and the student, the student’s employer, and the student’s DSO must continue to abide by all the terms and conditions that were in effect when the Form I-766 was issued.

214.16(c)(2)

(2) Subject to the requirements in paragraphs (c)(2)(i) through (iii) of this section, F-1 students with a 17-month OPT extension under the rule issued at 73 FR 18944 are eligible to apply for an additional 7-month period of OPT. The F-1 student applying for the additional 7- month period of OPT must:

214.16(c)(2)(i)

(i) Properly file a Form I-765, with USCIS on or after May 10, 2016 and on or before August 8, 2016, and within 60 days of the date the DSO enters the recommendation for the 24- month OPT extension into the student’s SEVIS record, with applicable fees and supporting documentation, as described in the form instructions;

214.16(c)(2)(ii)

(ii) Have at least 150 calendar days remaining prior to the end of his or her 17-month OPT extension at the time the Form I-765, is properly filed; and

214.16(c)(2)(iii)

(iii) Meet all the requirements for the 24-month OPT extension as described in 8 CFR 214.2(f)(10)(ii)(C), except the requirement that the student must be in a valid period of post- completion OPT authorized under 8 CFR 274a.12(c)(3)(i)(B).

214.16(c)(3)

(3) Students on a 17-month OPT extension who apply for and are granted an additional 7- month period of OPT shall be considered to be in a period of 24-month OPT extension, as authorized under 8 CFR 214.2(f)(10)(ii)(C). Upon proper filing of the application for the additional 7-month OPT extension, the student, the student’s employer as identified in the student’s completed Form I–983 and the student’s DSO are subject to all requirements of the 24- month OPT extension period, except for the 150-day unemployment limit described in 8 CFR 214.2(f)(10)(ii)(E), which applies to students only upon approval of the additional 7-month OPT extension. Subsequent to any denial of the application for the additional 7-month extension, the student, the student’s employer, and the student’s DSO must abide by all the terms and conditions that were in effect when the 17-month OPT extension was issued throughout the remaining validity period of the 17-month OPT extension.