United States: ICE Launches Reporting System for F-1 Students on OPT
The ICE Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) has launched the SEVP Portal, a tool that allows F-1 students on post-completion Optional Practical Training (OPT) and STEM OPT to meet certain legal reporting obligations. Use of the tool is voluntary.
A closer look
The SEVP Portal permits students whose OPT has been approved and is active to:
- view details about their post-completion or STEM OPT, including their employers; and
- make required reports when there are changes to their U.S. home address and mailing address, personal telephone number and certain employment information. Changes to a student’s name or e-mail address must be reported directly to the DSO.
By regulation, students working on OPT must report changes in their address or employer information within 10 days of the change. Students must also report when their employment starts and ends, so that they do not exceed regulatory limits on unemployment during OPT. The SEVP portal allows students to input this information without the assistance of their Designated School Official (DSO).
What employment information can a student change
The information that a student can add or edit in the portal depends on the type of OPT they hold.
- Students on 12-month post-completion OPT: Students on 12-month OPT can use the portal to add, edit or delete an employer. They can also update employment information, including the employer’s address, the student’s job title and dates and hours of employment, and details about how the job relates to the student’s degree.
- Students on STEM OPT: Because students on STEM OPT must receive confirmation from their DSO that their employment opportunity is STEM-compliant, they cannot add or delete an employer in the portal, nor can they submit their training plan or evaluation or report to the DSO via the portal. However, once the DSO certifies the STEM employment and it becomes active in SEVIS, students on STEM OPT may use the portal to correct a typographical error in the employer’s name, update the employer’s address, or edit the student’s job title, dates and hours of employment, supervisor’s name and contact information, and explanation about how the job relates to the student’s degree.
Students are encouraged to keep their employment information in the portal up-to-date in order to meet their reporting obligations and ensure that unemployment limits are not inadvertently triggered in SEVIS.
Enrolling in the portal
Eligible students can expect an email from do-not-reply.SEVP@ice.dhs.gov with instructions on creating a portal account. If a student’s OPT status in SEVIS is still “requested” or “pending”, the student will not receive an email until the OPT status has been changed to “approved,” which happens when the EAD is issued. Students requiring assistance on creating or using a portal account can refer to SEVP Portal Help located on the Study in the States Website.
Once the account is operational, students are encouraged to monitor the portal closely, keep the information up-to-date and print out their updates as evidence of compliance with their reporting obligations.
This alert is for informational purpose only. If you have any questions, please contact the immigration professional with whom you work at Fragomen.