May 5 2016 – “After consultation with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) is revising its guidance on the handling of 24-month extensions of optional practical training (OPT) to include special instructions for students whose:

  • Post-completion OPT ends before May 23, 2016, and
  • Eligibility is based on a prior science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM)degree

USCIS and SEVP developed special filing instructions for a limited number of students who become eligible on May 10, 2016 for a STEM extension based on a prior degree or for a seven-month extension of approved STEM OPT and who must file their applications before May 23, 2016. These students cannot meet the technical requirements for filing because:

  • SEVP will deploy the STEM-related functionality into the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) on May 13, 2016
  • Designated school officials (DSOs) need time to generate and send the Form I-20 to students who may be out of state
  • Students need time to sign the Form I-20 and send a copy of it with the application for employment authorization (Form I-765) to USCIS

The chart below, originally released on April 4, 2016, has been revised to include guidance for these students. … ”

New Revised Guidance for SEVIS on the STEM OPT – ICE SEVIS BM 1605-01 5-5-16