- Yesterday, October 2, 2015, the USICE submitted the STEM OPT “proposed” rule to the OMB for its review and approval. This is the first step for the required rule-making procedures and steps. Once the OMB approves it, ICE will publish it in the federal register seeking comments within certain period of time. Once ICE receives comments, it will review all the comments and then draft and submit an interim final rule to the OMB again for its review and approval. Once the OMB approves it, the ICE will publish the Interim Final Rule in the federal register again with the effect date notice. Interim Final Rule is a legally binding rule. This process must be completed by February 12, 2016 under the court order. Since the ICE has just officially initiated it, it should be do-able to achieve it within the time line.
- Ever since the STEM OPT EAD rule was struck down by a federal court in August with the court order to vacate the rule unless the DHS (ICE) rectify procedural defects (failure of notice and comment period in the rule making process) by 02/12/2016, the devastated academic and research community and STEM OPT community were very anxious to see that DHS (ICE) would initiate the proposed rule making process as soon as possible. In a tremendous anxiety, STEM OPT community initiated petition process with the White House asking to initiate the rule making process as soon as possible. Within the time limit of the White House petition process, the number of signatures passed 100,000 within the time line and this website was proud to join the effort by setting up petition site at our home page which helped tremendously in achieving 100,000 signatures.
- We extend our congratulation to the research/academic community and STEM OPT stakeholders for this good news.
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• DHS is aware of the court’s ruling, and we are working on a draft rule-making. We are working aggressively to meet the court’s deadlines.
You can find the above information on page 13 of SEVIS OPT Webinar conducted on October 2nd, 2015.
This provides some sort of relief knowing that DHS is aggressively working on rule making process and trying to get this done before Feb 2016 deadline.