STEM Optional Practical Training (OPT) regulations authorize a 24-month extension of work authorization for foreign students who will be employed in a STEM occupation by U.S. companies that participate in E-Verify. On April 19, 2017, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia dismissed a lawsuit brought by the Washington Alliance of Technology Workers (WashTech), a union representing American workers in the STEM fields. WashTech challenged the STEM OPT regulations alleging that the regulations, which went into effect on May 10, 2016, exceeded the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) authority.
The dismissal of the lawsuit means that the current rules governing OPT and the 24-month STEM extension remain in place. F-1 students who will be employed in a STEM occupation will continue to be eligible for up to 3 years of OPT.