SEVP to Send Notices to F-1 Students on OPT Who Fail to List Employer in SEVIS

The Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) has issued a new broadcast message advising designated school officials (DSOs) that it will soon begin issuing notices to F-1 students participating in optional practical training (OPT) if the student does not mention information on the employer in the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS). Per the message, if a student has been on OPT for at least 90 days and has not reported employer information, SEVP will mail a notice to the student, and provide the student the opportunity to update the student’s SEVIS record with this information. Failure to timely update the record will result in the student’s SEVIS record being terminated.

Unemployment Limits for F-1 OPT Students

By way of background, students who graduate with a bachelor’s, master’s, or PhD from an accredited U.S. university or institution of higher education, are eligible to work under the F-1 OPT program, if they comply with certain requirements. During the initial 12-month OPT period, a student may have no more than a total of 90 days of unemployment. SEVP is now taking the position that, if an F-1 student’s SEVIS record does not list an employer that is evidence that the student is unemployed. This would result in the student potentially no longer maintaining valid F-1 status and the ability to continue working under the OPT program.


This is the second announcement in two weeks targeting F-1 students participating in OPT. The previous announcement, discussed in the MurthyDotCom NewsBrief, USCIS “Reminds” Universities and F-1 Students to Update Employer Information (24.Aug.2020), also focused on the issue of updating employer information in SEVIS. F-1 students on OPT who are facing unemployment issues should discuss the matter with the DSO or may schedule a consultation with a Murthy Law Firm attorney.


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Disclaimer: The information provided here is of a general nature and may not apply to any specific or particular circumstance. It is not to be construed as legal advice nor presumed indefinitely up to date.