NewsFlash! USCIS Clarifies That Offsite STEM OPT Employment is Permitted17 Aug 2018
This afternoon, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) updated its STEM OPT webpage to clarify that STEM OPT workers can be placed offsite if certain requirements are met. The update also alters certain reporting requirements for F-1 students working pursuant to STEM OPT and their respective employers.
Per the accompanying press release, offsite employment by students using STEM OPT is permissible if “… all of the training obligations are met, including that the employer has and maintains a bona fide employer-employee relationship with the student.” The updated webpage provides a few additional details, but it appears that these cases may be treated much in the same manner as H1B workers who are placed at third-party work locations, provided they comply with the additional training requirements under the STEM OPT rule.
With regard to the updated reporting requirements, both the student and the employer are required to report any material changes to the university’s designated school official (DSO) by providing an updated form I-983 training plan. Further, the employer is required to report a STEM OPT worker’s termination or departure to the DSO within five business days.
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