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Ravi MS

OPT STEM Extension Denied. Improper reason for denial.

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Hi All,


OPT STEM EXTENSION DENIED. I didn't get any RFE, but USCIS says that I responded to the RFE and there was no DSO recommendation in my response. But the truth is that I never received any RFE and never responded to anything.


My Complete Story:

I applied for OPT STEM Extension on March 1st 2016. Since then I was regularly checking the online portal for the status update. On March 25th 2016 i.e., after 25 days after date of application, the case was transferred to Arlington, VA from Vermont Service center. I got a physical notice from USCIS stating the same. From then, the online case status was showing that the application was moved to Virginia. On May 31st, i.e., on 90th day from the date of application, the online status changed to "USCIS started working on the my response for the RFE they sent". Till then I neither got physical mail nor email about RFE and never responded to anything. So I called up USICS and briefed my situation. They accessed my profile and assured me that there was no RFE on my file. I told them about the error in the online status, and they said that it was common for the errors online and told me that, if the status remain same even after 2-3 weeks, then they asked me to call back. So I called them back after 2-3 weeks stating the same reason. Even at this point of time they accessed my profile and told me that there was no RFE on my profile. Even on June 29th 2016, I called USCIS for knowing the status of my application as it was approximately 120 days by then. Even at this point of time they accessed my profile and told that there was no RFE and informed me that some applications take longer than the regular time frame of 90 - 120 days and they suggested me to have patience as it is very common. But on July 4th 2016 I got a postal mail saying that my STEM Extension was rejected with the following reason " USCIS sent you a RFE to have your DSO submit a  complete and endorsed SEVIS form I-20 to confirm his/her recommendation of your request for employment authorization. The form I-20 that was returned to USCIS was not completed and/or endorsed by DSO as required by the regulations."

But I never got any RFE to my address and I never responded to USCIS for anything. I told my situation to my University Immigration Adviser and they mailed the same to Vermont Service Center on July 6th 2016. They got a reply on July 7th 2016 stating:

Thank you for requesting a review of the denial.


The denial notice indicates that we received an updated Form I-20 in response to a RFE notice; however, the response did not satisfy the requirements of the RFE notice.


We have requested the physical file for review to determine whether we received the Form I-20 as indicated in the denial notice and, if so, whether that Form I-20 satisfied the requirements of the RFE notice.


We will provide additional information to you as soon as it is available.


We hope this information is helpful for you and we apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused.


USCIS Potomac Service Center


And on July 14th 2016, i.e., after a one week, they responded back to University once again with remaining information:


Thank you for your patience while we researched this issue.


We forwarded the information you provided to the Immigration Services Officer who adjudicated the application. The Immigration Services Officer reviewed the application in light of the information you provided. However, the Immigration Services Officer determined that the denial notice was appropriately issued based on applicable Federal Regulations, current guidance, and the information contained in the file.


USCIS regulations do not provide for an appeal of this decision. However, you may file a motion to reopen or reconsider an adverse decision.


A motion to reopen or reconsider must be filed using Form I-290B, Notice of Appeal or Motion. Form I-290B must be filed within 30 days from the date of the denial notice (33 days if this notice was received by mail) with the appropriate filing fee and other documentation in support of the motion.


Please do not send the completed Form I-290B directly to the Potomac Service Center.


A list of filing addresses for Form I-290B is available at the following location: https://www.uscis.gov/i-290b-addresses/.


For more information about filing motions to reopen or reconsider, the filing fee, and to download Form I-290B, please visit the USCIS website at https://www.uscis.gov/i-290b/. You may also contact the National Customer Service Center (NCSC) at 800-375-5283.


We hope this information is helpful to you and we apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused.


USCIS Potomac Service Center

Customer Service Unit


The deadline given for MTR ( Motion To Reopen) is August 1st 2016. I kept follow up mails and e-requests to USICS on July 5th, 2016 and I got a reply on July 20th 2016 with improper information. they didn't address anything about my case in the mail, they just replied with standard format saying that my application has been denied.. I called 3-4 times to customer service and there was no proper information from them. And my 1st OPT ended on June 11th 2016. Even the University Immigration Adviser and University Immigration lawyer are staying out of my case saying that this is out of their are of expertise. University advisers also tried to approach NAFSA for help and we are still waiting for their reply. The documentation and everything is proper from my side and even then I'm becoming liable for severe consequences.

So can anyone help me out from this situation please.!!

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Need help regarding my OPT STEM EXTENSION which was denied on June 12th 2019.

my initial OPT expired on may 19th 2019, i applied for the STEM EXTENSION on feb 28th 2019, and the reason they have stated for denial was: “ A review of your application, all supporting documents submitted and SEVIS indicates that the degree program you completed in Business Administration and Management, General is not listed on the STEM Designated Program list”. 

And it says that i can file for MTR within 30 days of this notice.

my grace 60 days period has already began. My question is: if I file a MTR, what is likely to be in my favor, as i have checked the filled I-765 form that was sent to USCIS, doesn’t have any mistakes on this from my side.  Or should i take another masters program and transfer my SEVIS and become a Student again and work on CPT?

need some guidance please. And also one last question, should MTR be filled with the help of an attorney?.

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2 hours ago, Lokesh567 said:

Business Administration and Management,

I dont think your program is eligible for STEM OPT extension. STEM extension is for Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics field related programs. A MTR and or any subsequent OPT STEM extension requests will most likely be denied unless you can demonstrate and convince USCIS that your program falls in STEM category.

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