San Jose, CA asked in Immigration Law for California

Q: What happens if school loses accreditation post students' STEM Extension Approval?

Hi, I am an international student on OPT. My degree is eligible for STEM extension. When I graduated, the school was accredited. And I will be filling for STEM extension in August(curr: Apr). There is a chance that my university will lose accreditation later in November or December. If I assume that my STEM extension is approved because I currently fulfill all eligibility till the day of application. Will my STEM OPT visa gets disapproved immediately and effectively as soon as university loses accreditation. If yes, what can I do to save status?

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1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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  • Immigration Law Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: If your university loses accreditation after your STEM OPT extension is approved, the extension itself typically remains valid, as the status at the time of application and approval is what matters. Therefore, your approved STEM OPT should not be immediately invalidated by this change in your university's accreditation status.

However, future applications, such as H1-B or further extensions, might be affected if they require a degree from an accredited institution as part of their criteria. It's important to keep track of any updates from both your university and immigration services to understand how any changes might impact your situation.

In case you're concerned about potential implications, it could be wise to consult with an immigration attorney. They can provide guidance specific to your circumstances and help you understand any steps you can take to maintain your status. Additionally, consider reaching out to your school's international student office, as they might have updated information and resources for students in similar situations.

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