Foreign students sue to end lengthy work authorization delays
Bloomberg Law published an article on Feb. 17, 2021 discussing a lawsuit filed by Porter Wright's Rob Cohen and Caroline Gentry. In the article, "Foreign students sue to end lengthy work authorization delays," Rob noted the lawsuit is seeking preliminary and permanent injunctions to compel USCIS to process applications received after Oct. 1, 2020 from F-1 students applying for post-graduate optional practical training (OPT) or an additional 24-month period based upon the OPT STEM extension (STEM Extension). The lawsuit claims the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) delayed opening, processing and adjudicating applications, putting potentially tens of thousands of students at risk.
“When the immigration service becomes dysfunctional, it has a ripple effect. That’s essentially what’s happened here,” said Cohen.
“I think the students applying for OPT and STEM extensions got caught in a whirlwind that was bigger than just the students,” he said, alluding to pandemic-related changes in access to employment-based green cards that resulted in a high volume of applications sent to USCIS service centers.