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Immigration Law

ICE Cracks Down Even More on OPT Students

ICE, Aug. 28, 2020 via NAFSA, Aug. 31, 2020

"On August 28, 2020 SEVP sent DSOs Broadcast Message 2008-03SEVP to Mail Notices to OPT Students Without Employer Information, informing them of its plan to mail notices to OPT students "who have not reported employer information and have exceeded 90 days of unemployment." The message SEVP plans to send to these students gives them 15 days from the date of the notice to update their SEVIS record with employer information or their records will be terminated. The text of the broadcast message is reproduced below.

The broadcast message, sent via email to DSOs, also included an attachment consisting of a draft of what SEVP will mail to students "who have not reported employer information and have exceeded 90 days of unemployment" specified at 8 CFR 214.2(f)(10)(ii)(E). The student notice tells students who receive it that:

"Because there is no employer information in your SEVIS record, you are accumulating unemployment days and may have exceeded the permissible period of employment. If you have been employed during your OPT time, you must correct your SEVIS record. Please contact your DSO or utilize the SEVIS Portal to update your information. Failure to take corrective action may result in the initiation of immigration proceedings to remove you from the United States.

If your SEVIS record is not updated within 15 days of the date of this notice, SEVP will set your SEVIS record to "terminated" to reflect the lack of employer information and the potential that you may have violated your status either by failing to timely report OPT employment or by exceeding the permissible period of unemployment while on OPT."

Given the wording of the broadcast message and the draft message to students, it appears that SEVP is focusing for now on students who have been within a period of standard post-completion OPT for at least 90 days without any employer information in SEVIS."