Today DHS released an advanced copy of its final rule allowing foreign students with degrees in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) to extend their Optional Practical Training (OPT) for an additional 24 months. DHS will publish the final rule in the Federal Register this Friday.  The rule will go into effect on May 10. Beginning May 10, students who are currently in the U.S. under their 17-month STEM OPT extension will be able to file to extend their OPT for an additional 7 months.

This rule gives foreign students with STEM degrees the opportunity to work in the United States for up to 36 months.  The extended time period offers a number of benefits to foreign students and U.S. employers that wish to hire them.  By defining fields of study that qualify for STEM in accordance with the Department of Education’s Classification of Instructional Program (CIP) categories, the new rule expands on the permissible fields of study that were authorized under the old STEM rule.  Notably, increasing OPT work authorization from 29 months to 36 months will give F-1 STEM OPT holders more chances at being selected for an H-1B visa number in the annual H-1B lottery.  The rule also redresses the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia’s vacatur of the 2008, 17-month Optional Practical Training (OPT) STEM Extension rule, and part of the contentious legal battle surrounding the overall validity of the STEM extension program, which is expected to be decided by a Federal court in May.


Continue Reading DHS Set to Publish Final Rule Allowing Further STEM OPT Extensions for Foreign Students

International law firm Greenberg Traurig, LLP represented client Vizo Inc. in its recent round of startup financing. Vizo Inc. develops and operates the “Vizo” mobile news application, delivering curated summaries of trending news stories to users, accessed through visual headlines, several times per day. The transaction provided Vizo with approximately $750,000 in funding, which it used to launch the Vizo application Sept. 28, 2015, on mobile devices.

Greenberg Traurig’s northern Virginia team, led by Corporate & Securities Practice Shareholder Scott Meza along with Associate Ryan P. Kelley, advised Vizo on the structure and terms of the transaction and assisted in negotiations with investors, many of whom were returning to Vizo after making initial seed investments in 2014.


Continue Reading Greenberg Traurig Represents Vizo, Inc. in its Startup Financing