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Hello Everyone,


Few weeks ago, there was a news online which spread like a wildfire all over the USA and India. It was about STEM Extension being cancelled by one of the court in USA. It created a chaos among the students and many were uncertain as to what had happened. People were posting like crazy and their was a chaos.

Fake news started to spread about STEM Extension etc. In this post, I would explain in a simple terms as to what has happened and what’s going to happen.

What’s STEM Extension?

Students who are in India now and giving their GRE Exams, you don’t need to worry about it now. But to give a small overview, STEM Extension provides you with an additional 17 months to stay in the United States after your OPT period of 12 months gets over. After graduation, you will have 12 months of OPT Period which you could use to stay in USA and work. After that, you can use 17 months of STEM Extension to stay in USA, if your employer is not willing to apply for an H1-B for you.

Little Background on the STEM Cancellation

STEM Extension came to existence on April 8th 2008. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) posted the following rule which stated what STEM Extension is all about, which courses come under STEM Extension, who can avail it and other details regarding the same. If you wish to read the original transcripts of this rule stated by DHS, please click on the following link: DHS STEM Extension Details.

In March 2014, the Washington Alliance of Technology Workers filed suit in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia stating that DHS did not first subject the rule to a notice and comment period, which was a violation act. In this period, you simply put this new rule in front of the public before actually passing the new rule and making it active. DHS stated that this notice and comment period was not required in this case. According to the law, you can bypass the notice and comment period if the agency finds that this notice and comment period is unnecessary and does not hold any interest to the public. DHS specified that the rule was made active just before the filing period of the H1-B in 2008. They argued that USA was going through an economic emergency and hence they stated that they felt it wasn’t required that they should go for a comment and notice period. 

But the judge felt that DHS should have gone through the notice and comment period and hence cancelled the STEM Extension.

Impacts Over STEM Cancellation

The judge knew that STEM Extension cannot be cancelled right away as it would mean that students who are currently in STEM Extension period would loose their status. Hence the judge specified the following:

  • Students who are currently under STEM Extension would not be affected by this decision. They will have 17 months entirely.
  • Students who would be applying for STEM Extension can certainly do so until February 2016.
  • Before February 2016, DHS must go through the notice and comment period for this rule and if they go through it, then the rule will be active again.


So, that’s the entire story on STEM Extension Cancellation. If you have any queries, please do let me know through the comment box below.

STEM Extension Cancellation: Explained In Simple Terms

10 thoughts on “STEM Extension Cancellation: Explained In Simple Terms

  • September 1, 2015 at 1:18 am

    can u please elaborate about the situation of students joining in FALL 2016 for both the cases(i.e 1.with STEM cancellation 2.without STEM cancellation)

    • September 1, 2015 at 12:46 pm

      1) If STEM gets cancelled, the students would only be having 12 months of OPT Period after their graduation. This would mean that they will have only one shot at H1-B Visa. If a student is unable to get an H1-B Visa, at the end of 12 months the student has to come back to India.

      2) If STEM Extension stays you will get additional 17 months. In all you will get 29 months to stay in USA after your graduation. This gives you 2 to 3 shots for getting your H1-B Visa.

  • September 1, 2015 at 3:32 am

    If I want to do m.s in fall 2016 then how many years visa can I get?

    • September 1, 2015 at 12:44 pm

      Your visa would be for 10 years. But the date in your I-20 will matter. It will be for 2 years. After which you will have to update your I-20 with OPT Period of 12 months.

  • September 13, 2015 at 7:02 pm

    I just finished my undergrad Metallurgical And Material Science inn 2015. I have an aggregate of 58.6% i am preparing for GRE and ielts and going to apply for fall 2016. Basically i have taken a drop, to study GRE and IELTS. and also learning a foreign language (GERMAN). will I face any problems in getting admission for MS in USA??

  • January 26, 2016 at 9:34 am

    hi shrinivas,
    i’m going to give my gre and ielts both in the last week of feb,2016. my aggregate is 78% with no backlogs. i m expecting a score of 300+ in gre and 6+ in ielts. please tell me if i can get into a good university for ms in cs for fall 2016.

    • January 26, 2016 at 9:38 am

      i did my btech in electronics and communication engineering and i want to do ms in cs. and also can u please suggest me some universities for the same profile


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