On 03/11/2016, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) published a new rule for OPT extension for STEM students. The biggest benefit for F1 students is the increased length of OPT extension from 17 months to 24 months. Now the STEM students can be employed for 3 years after graduation. However, the new rule also adds new requirements and creates burdens on F1 students and employers by, for example, requiring a formal training plans. The following is the summary of extension application requirements under the new rule. Continue reading
If you are an international student, planning to graduate soon, and want to take the OPT -> H1B path, be careful about the timing of your graduation and your OPT start/end date. In short, plan your graduation date so that your OPT expires after April 1. Continue reading
On November 20, 2014, President Obama announced his planned executive actions on immigration. The big focus was on the relief for undocumented immigrants who are parents of U.S. citizens. If they meet certain requirements, they can get employment authorization under the DACA program. The less discussed is the business side of immigration, especially the executive actions that will affect the startup community.
In President Obama’s Thursday announcement, he said, “Second, I will make it easier and faster for high-skilled immigrants, graduates, and entrepreneurs to stay and contribute to our economy, as so many business leaders have proposed.” However, this was all he said about this 2nd action in his whole speech. The memorandum released by the Department of Homeland Security gives a little more detail. The memorandum with the subject of “Policies Supporting U.S. High-Skilled Businesses and Workers” lists 5 policy changes, 3 of which have important effect on entrepreneurs who want to start a company. Continue reading