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Seminar on new STEM-OPT guidelines held


BY VIJU CHILUVERU
Atlanta, GA, July 10: “Be compliant and follow the guidelines of USCIS, whether you are a master’s student or an employer,” was the advice given by Manjunath Gokare, attorney of the Atlanta-based Gokare Law Firm,  during an interactive seminar on ‘Compliance Challenges Associated with the new STEM OPT Rule and its impact on IT Consulting Companies’. The seminar was held in the afternoon of Sunday June 26, 2016 at Skyland Business Center, Cumming, GA (USA).
United States Center for Immigration Services (USCIS), recently announced some changes in STEM-OPT rules. STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math and OPT stands for Optional Practical Training. International Students who successfully complete bachelor’s or master’s program within the US can avail this status to get additional on the job training. Until recently, the OPT duration was 17 months. Attended by about 80 students and several representatives of IT consulting Companies, the seminar provided useful information and advice.
Viju Chiluveru, past director and a long-time volunteer of TAMA, welcomed the participants and explained the format of the seminar. Shilpa Gokare, Attorney at Law at Gokare Law Firm earlier introduced Manjunath Gokare. After a 45-minute presentation about the changes in OPT rules, a Q&A session was held.
Before concluding the seminar, TAMA Chairman Ram Maddi, President Venkat Meesala and several Directors and Officers of EC came to the podium to recognize the volunteer service of Manujath Gokare and his team.
“Besides regular cultural events, TAMA has been organizing several seminars on contemporary issues relevant and useful to the whole community,” said Meesala.
The major highlights of changes that came into effect from May 10, 2016 are:
The OPT extension period for STEM OPT students is increased to 24 months from 17 month. Only two 24-month STEM OPT extensions are allowed during a student’s lifetime – for the second extension, the completed degree must be at a higher level. Previously only one lifetime STEM extension was allowed. OPT student must get training or work at the employer’s work site.
If you could not attend this seminar or have a question about changes in OPT rules, you may contact Gokare Law Firm by sending an email to info@gokarelaw.com
To learn more about these seminars, visit www.tama.org.

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