This message was sent on 9/1/2020 to all students in F-1 status who have a requested, pending or approved OPT authorization.
On Friday, August 28, SEVP notified schools that it will be mailing notices to OPT students who do not have employer information in SEVIS. The notice states:
Nonimmigrant students and designated school officials (DSOs) must remember to report employer information related to Optional Practical Training (OPT) in the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS). Without this information, students could be viewed as having failed to obtain employment and potentially be considered out of status for exceeding permissible periods of unemployment while participating in OPT.
The Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) is conducting a review of SEVIS records for OPT participants and is mailing notices directly to students who have not reported employer information and have exceeded 90 days of unemployment. The notice informs students of their lack of employer/employment information and provides an opportunity for them to update their records either through their DSO or directly through the SEVP Portal. If the student’s SEVIS record is not updated, SEVP will set the record to “terminated” to reflect the lack of employer information and the potential that the student may have violated their status either by failing to timely report OPT employment or by exceeding the permissible period of unemployment while on OPT.
Click here to view a copy of the draft notice. We do not know if the notice will be emailed in addition to sending it via regular mail.
If you are employed, check one of the following to see if your employer information is up-to-date:
· Page 2 of your most recent form I-20
If your employer info is missing or outdated, update your employer info by doing one of the following. Please do not report employment info both ways, just choose one.
· Log into the SEVP Portal and update your employer info. [Students on STEM OPT cannot use the SEVP Portal to add new employment info]
· Log into iHopkins and complete the OPT Reporting Form under the F-1 Practical Training tab. Students on STEM OPT should complete the STEM OPT Reporting eForm.
If you are not employed, consider the following:
- If you do not plan to use your OPT and/or cannot find employment, options may include: departing the U.S., transferring your F-1 status to another U.S. institution to begin a new academic program, or changing to another visa status within the U.S. If you depart the U.S. or change your visa status from within the U.S., please notify OIS by completing the OPT Reporting Form in iHopkins. Students on STEM OPT should complete the STEM OPT Reporting eForm.
· If your F-1 record is terminated by SEVP, you will lose your F-1 status immediately. There is no grace period following a termination.
There are several things that remain unclear:
· Is this a new on-going process or a one-time notice from SEVP?
· Will students on STEM OPT without employer info receive the same notice?
· Will students be informed if their F-1 SEVIS record is terminated by SEVP?
We hope this helps inform you about this government notice so that you continue to maintain valid F-1 status while on OPT.
Please contact OIS at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions.
Office of International Services