The Catholic University of America

Welcome to the Immigration section of our webpage. This front page will reflect our most current information on immigration law affecting educational institutions.


81 Fed. Reg. 13040, Final Rule, March 11, 2016  Improving and Expanding Training

Opportunities for F–1 Nonimmigrant Students With STEM Degrees and Cap-Gap Relief for All Eligible F–1 Students

The final rule allows F-1 Stem students to extend their OPT period to 24 months. Oversight by employers is required, including formal training programs, and allowing extensions only for degrees from accredited schools. 

The rule also includes "Cap-Gap" relief for any F-1 student who has filed a timely H-1B petition and request for change of status. The final rule will go into effect on May 10, 2016. For more on CAP-GAP see USCIS web page. See also NAFSA page on the new final rule. The current 17-month STEM OPT rule remains effective through May 9, 2016, and will continue to govern the STEM OPT extensions that were approved prior to May 10, 2016 and for which a 7-month extension has not been requested.