The COVID-19 pandemic has caused rising unemployment in the United States, and unemployment days that exceed federal limits can result in a loss of status. Thus, USCIS reminds F-1 foreign nationals to update their employer information online with current unemployment data.
F-1 foreign nationals who are participating in post-completion Optical Practical Training (OPT), along with their designated school officials (DSOs), must update employer information in the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS). They can do this directly through the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) Portal, or provide the information to their DSO. An F-1 foreign national must notify their DSO within 10 days of any changes to their personal or employment information. A DSO must update SEVIS within 21 days of receiving these changes.
It is important that F-1 foreign nationals and DSOs update this information in a timely manner. SEVIS will count each day without employer information toward the total number of unemployment days allowed. Failure to update this information, and exceeding unemployment limits, may result in:
- Losing F-1 status, and becoming subject to removal from the US
- SEVP terminating a foreign national’s SEVIS record
- USCIS revoking a foreign national’s Employment Authorization Document
- Negative effects on foreign national’s future benefit requests with USCIS
For help on navigating the SEVP Portal, visit: https://studyinthestates.dhs.gov/sevp-portal-help
For help on checking how many unemployment days one has accrued, visit: https://studyinthestates.dhs.gov/sevis-help-hub/student-records/fm-student-employment/unemployment-counter
If you have any questions about federal regulations and maintaining F-1 status, please contact our office at firstname.lastname@example.org.