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On Wednesday, a federal judge ruled that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) did not follow the process required for changing regulations, which includes public notice and comment, when it rule created a 17 month OPT extension for F-1 visa STEM students (math and science related degrees) in 2008.  However, the judge  allowed the extension program to remain in place for the time being because she believes immediately vacating of the rule would be “seriously disruptive”.  The extension program will be allowed to continue until until Feb. 12, 2016, during which time DHS can submit the rule for proper notice and comment. The case is Washington Alliance of Technology Workers v. U.S. Department of Homeland Security, case number 1:14-cv-00529, in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.

While we do not know for sure how this will turn out, we imagine that if DHS completes the normal administrative process for changing a rule (public notice and a time to comment), and after doing so decides to keep the extension program in place, the judge will probably then permit the STEM extension program to continue. We will continue to update this story as more information becomes available.