STEM OPT will continue to be valid (for now, I mean)

F-1 students can keep using their non-expired STEM OPT till May 10, 2016. There is hope that they can get into this year’s H1B lottery which is on April 1, 2016. For more details, please check with http://www.nafsa.org/Find_Resources/Supporting_International_Students_And_Scholars/ISS_Issues/Issues/Focus_On_STEM_OPT/

The U.S. District Court has just granted the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s motion to extend the current STEM OPT rule until May 10, 2016.

This decision is a win for F-1s using their 17-month EAD extension and their employers, because previously issued STEM OPT EADs will continue to be valid, and USCIS will continue to accept STEM OPT EAD applications, until May 10th.  We are confident DHS will complete its rule making and publish a final rule to permanently reinstitute STEM EAD extensions before the May 10th deadline.

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More details about $4000 Extra Fee for 2017 H1B

In short, it doesn’t practically prevent future H1B fraud from ICCs, and we should expect a more competitive H1B lottery in 2016: these extra $4000 for preventing multi-filing fraud will only be conducted AFTER the lottery, thus, a visa cheater can still submit multiple H1B petitions and later on send 4000$ check to USCIS after being selected in the lottery for fixing the RFE. What a perfect loophole for H1B fraud!

For more details, please refer to http://www.h1bwiki.com/new-h-1b-and-transfers-fees-increased-by-4000-uscis/

We don`t think there will be any effect on H-1B filings this year since the fee is only deducted after getting selected in the lottery. We can still expect a lottery this year.