STEM FAQs

Can I do two STEM OPTs, one after bachelor's and the other after Master's degree?

Authored on: Thu, 11/03/2022 - 05:20

Question

I am in the 1st year of my 2-year STEM OPT after completing Bachelors Degree. Can I do another set of OPT + 2 year STEM OPT if I complete my Masters Degree? Does the Masters also have to be in STEM field to utilize the post Masters OPT+2 year STEM OPT?

Answer

Video URL

STEM extension expiring, options to stay in USA, Is Day 1 CPT safe and legal?

Authored on: Thu, 11/03/2022 - 05:06

Question

I am currently on STEM Extension and my visa expires in July 2023. I also have a masters degree here in the states. I wanted to know what my options are..
If the suggestion is Day-1 CPT, I wanted to know how safe/legit it is! I have heard that going on Day-1 CPT can cause some issues when your H1 gets picked and may lead to RFE?
 

Answer

Video URL

What are the chances of an H-1B visa (STEM OPT) after completing Masters in the U.S?

Authored on: Tue, 09/20/2022 - 06:56

Question

What are the chances of an H-1B visa (STEM OPT) after completing Masters in the U.S?

Answer

Video URL

Continuing work or reverting to STEM OPT during H-1B Change of Status

Authored on: Tue, 07/12/2022 - 03:45

Question

Q1. If I change my employer while my H-1B COS is filed but not yet approved, then can I keep using my OPT and STEM with my new employer, or I will lose both OPT & H-1B, and will be out of status?

Q2. If my H-1B COS is denied, then can I keep using my OPT and STEM, or I will lose both OPT & H-1B, and will be out of status?

Q3. How often does it happen that H-1B COS, transfer, and renewal get denied? And what could be possible reasons for denial?
 

Answer

Video URL

STEM OPT students filing OPT and green cards with multiple employers (renowned companies); impact of the size of the company on a green card petition; the impact of working remotely on OPT, H-1B, and green card

Authored on: Tue, 06/28/2022 - 03:15

Question

1. Can I have multiple employers i.e. jobs in the first year of OPT and also after getting STEM OPT extension?

2. Can all my employers start my green process simultaneously?

3. If H-1B COS is approved through one employer i.e. switched from OPT to H-1B, can I still continue other jobs and GC process with them? If not, is there a way to continue all jobs?

4. Does it make a green card case stronger if the sponsoring employer is a big renowned company like Microsoft or Amazon? Also, what about if the company is small?

5. Does OPT, STEM, and H-1B allow you to do a job that allows remote work from within the U.S. regardless of the pandemic? Is such a job eligible for H-1B and green card sponsorship?
 

Answer

Video URL

STEM OPT employment parameters, volunteering, part ownership, etc.

Authored on: Thu, 04/21/2022 - 05:21

Question

1. Currently, I am on STEM OPT, working with my DSO-approved employer. My uncle wants to start a company and asked me for my help. So, an I help him without being an employee of his company?
2. Is active professional volunteering to a family member's company a violation of the F-1 STEM OPT status? I hold a Professional Engineer's license. If I let him use my license for his company, will that be ok under my current immigration status?
3. Can I be a partner in the company and an employee of the company if my uncle hires me as an employee?
 

Answer

Video URL

STEM extension denied based on approved H-1B pending for withdrawal at a USCIS service center

Authored on: Mon, 12/20/2021 - 09:15

Question

I am in the initial OPT which expires on November 30, 2021. My STEM extension has been denied based on an approved H-1B which has been pending for withdrawal at the Texas Service Center for the last five months. My current employer’s attorney raised the Ombudsman request on Oct 25, 2021 and I’ve taken a U.S. state senator's help to submit an inquiry on October 19, 2021. I have received no response so far from USCIS orthe online forums.  It seems it will  take 30 days to get a response at least from the Ombudsman and the case inquiry but I’m running out of time.  My previous employer's attorney is not willing to join a call with a Tier -2 officer and they're not helpful at all. My current employer is re-applying for my STEM OPT extension on November 24, 2021 with all the evidence possible but it's already past 60 days. I can't get a new I-20 because my SEVIS record is closed and they're not sure I'll get a favorable discretionary decision because my H-1B is still approved.

I am hoping the USCIS officer would show some discretion but from past experience I am afraid they will not. I am not really sure what to do here. I might end with a financial loss.  Please guide me with your suggestions.

 

Answer

Video URL

 

You have done everything that you can. But there are a couple of things I would suggest. The first thing I would suggest is that you talk to your DSO and explain to them the situation. Have them talk to the civic people and see if they can allow your service reinstatement based upon evidence of withdrawal or request for withdrawal. They may not be able to but it's worth a try.

The second thing you can do is try to reach the Tier-2 USCIS officer over the phone with your employer, manager, HR person or somebody from the office. Once you get to a Tier-2 officer, talk to them and explain the situation and ask them for a suggestion.

 

STEM extension application is pending with USCIS due to a USCIS error in failing to withdraw H-1

Authored on: Thu, 12/16/2021 - 08:46

Question

I am in the initial OPT which expires on November 30th, 2021. My STEM Extension has been denied based on approved H1-b which is pending withdrawal at the Texas Service Center for the last 6 months. My current employer’s attorney raised the Ombudsman request a week ago and I’ve taken Ohio senator's help to submit inquiry two weeks ago but no response so far from the USCIS and also from online forums it seems it’ll take 30 days to get a response at least but I’m running out of my time. My employer is reapplying for my STEM OPT in two weeks again.  Do I need to take any other steps to get this issue resolved?

Answer

Video URL

Status of Off-site Placed STEM OPT Extension Students

Authored on: Thu, 05/31/2018 - 07:21

Question

USCIS now interprets the 24-month STEM OPT extension rule from 2016 to require a STEM OPT worker to be placed only at a worksite of the employer. In other words, the USCIS now says that any offsite placement, including at a third-party worksite, is prohibited. Will this affect the H1B petitions filed by employers for such opt students, where they are working at an end client location (not employer location) and the H1B petition was filed with end client details.

Answer

Watch the Video for this FAQ: Status of off-site placed STEM OPT extension students

Video Transcript

First of all to say that USCIS has changed its regulations and they do not allow off-site placements of STEM OPT extensions students is incorrect, because USCIS has said this from a very long time that they are not going to allow these placements. If you are in a situation, what can happen is you could be considered to be out of status for no fault of your own. So if you file an H-1B and if the government says well we think you're out of status hopefully that's all they can do, they can make you go outside the USA for a visa stamping. More...

 
 
 
Note: This is a verbatim transcript of the referenced audio/video media delivered as oral communication, and, therefore, may not conform to written grammatical or syntactical form.

STEM OPT Extension for Consulting or Staffing companies

Authored on: Tue, 05/31/2016 - 09:00

Question

Can I apply for STEM OPT, if I work for a E-Verified staffing agency (similar to Aerotek, Kelly services) on contract basis that is related to my STEM field of education at a client location ?. (I along with staffing agency will fill out I983 form) <br>

I read online that USCIS has regulated "Certain Types of Employment" for STEM OPT in this new rule. So am worried that working for a staffing company at a client company location is therefore invalid :/ ((If so, I think then all the staffing companies would suffer as well))<br>

I have attached hereby the snippet from Federal Register:<br>

""""""There are several aspects of the STEM OPT extension that do not make it apt for certain types of arrangements, including multiple employer arrangements, sole proprietorships, employment through “temp” agencies, employment through consulting firm arrangements that provide labor for hire, and other relationships that do not constitute a bona fide employer-employee relationship. One concern arises from the difficulty individuals employed through such arrangements would face in complying with, among other things, the training plan requirements of this rule. Another concern is the potential for visa fraud arising from such arrangements. Furthermore, evaluating the merits of such arrangements would be difficult and create additional burdens for DSOs. Accordingly, DHS clarifies that students cannot qualify for STEM OPT extensions unless they will be bona fide employees of the employer signing the Training Plan, and the employer that signs the Training Plan must be the same entity that employs the student and provides the practical training experience. DHS recognizes that this outcome is a departure from SEVP's April 23, 2010 Policy Guidance (1004-03)."""""
<br>
It would be really helpful if you could explain what the above paragraph means.

Answer

Watch Video: STEM OPT extension for consulting or staffing companies

Video Transcript: Basically what the government is saying is that if you have staffing arrangement or a consulting arrangement and you are not directly supervising the employee who is on OPT STEM extension on the site where they are working then you should not be filing for their STEM OPT extension. So far this is what we know of the USCIS comments. I have not heard anything different from USCIS so far. 

Note: This is a verbatim transcript of the referenced audio/video media delivered as oral communication, and, therefore, may not conform to written grammatical or syntactical form.