Key points of 24-month STEM extension:
USCIS has recently announced that the the STEM OPT program no longer permits third-party placement, effectively blocking staffing companies from qualifying as STEM OPT employers. This will, of course, lead many STEM graduates to have difficulty finding STEM OPT employment or even obtaining H-1B visa status.
USCIS quietly updated its website in late January with a stricter interpretation of third-party placements, though this only became widely known recently. It appears the change was intentional, albeit communicated through the most unusual manner. For this reason, we now urge you to consult with an immigration attorney (please see the Immigration Resources website) with any questions on the above, especially if you are currently associated with a third-party placement employer/client site.
Read USCIS Interpretation of Third Party Placements here
To apply for a UMass Lowell STEM Recommended I-20, please go to our Forms webpage. Students who receive their STEM Recommended I-20, may then proceed to mail all required documentation to USCIS (pdf).
For more information regarding the new 24-Month STEM Extension, please go to the Study in the States website!
You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to view any pdf files. It can be download for free from the Adobe website.