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Immigration Law

ICE SEVP Broadcast Message: Reporting Volunteer Positions During OPT Employment

ICE, May 18, 2018 - "Volunteer positions that are not directly related to your course of study do not qualify as optional practical training (OPT) and must not be listed as OPT employment. Reporting non-qualifying volunteer opportunities as OPT employment will be deemed a violation of your reporting requirements and subject you to removal from the United States.

In addition, non-qualifying volunteer positions do not stop the accrual of unemployment which is limited to a total of 90 days during OPT. Accordingly, if you have been unemployed for more than 90 days, you must leave the United States or be subject to removal even if you have volunteered while unemployed.

Note: A volunteer position does not meet the conditions of a science, technology, engineering and mathematics OPT extension. Any questions related to qualifying OPT employment or accrual of unemployment should be discussed with your designated school official (DSO) or addressed to the SEVP Response Center by calling 800-892-4829 or emailing"