Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) published policy guidance regarding the responsibilities of F-1 students who are employed based on Optional Practical Training (OPT) and STEM OPT. ICE reminds these students that they are responsible for providing a description of how their job relates to their major area of study to the Designated School Official (DSO) at their college or university.
OPT permits up to 12 months of temporary employment for certain foreign national students. Science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) OPT permits an additional 24-month period of temporary employment with qualified employers of foreign national students who have graduated with degrees in approved STEM fields.
The DSO must review the student’s description, and determine whether there is a direct relationship between the job and the student’s major area of study. The decision should be made on a case-by-case basis, and the DSO can request additional documentation if he or she has concerns. The DSO must retain the description of the direct relationship and monitor and update the student’s records in the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS), the ICE web-based system that maintains information on foreign national students and exchange visitors in the U.S.