STEM OPT Students Prohibited from Working Offsite

May 1, 2018 Chelsea Iversen

In another instance of the administration taking a tighter grip on employment-based visas, the USCIS recently clarified that foreign nationals working on an F-1 STEM OPT EAD cannot work at third-party sites, including client sites. If the student is sent to a third-party location for any period of time as a result of the training opportunity, ICE officers must have access to that site in the event of an audit.

Why clarify worksite regulations for STEM OPT students?

The reason behind this clarification that USCIS points out is that ICE needs the authority to access the worksite of any STEM OPT EAD holder, and that does not include third-party client sites, distance learning arrangements. Also, according to this policy, “the employer that signs the Form I-983 must be the same entity that provides the practical training experience to the student.” Students must be trained by your staff at your place of business only.

Any STEM OPT employees working at a client site should begin working from your location. The STEM employee should contact their school’s DSO to update their I-20 and for any questions they have.

For further clarification on the new changes or to seek specific counsel, consult your immigration attorney. See complete changes on the USCIS STEM OPT web page.

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