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DSOs: Resources for Determining Whether There is a Direct Relationship Between a Job and Course of Study


June 1, 2021

On Sept. 30, 2019, the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) published new policy guidance titled, “Practical Training: Determining a Direct Relationship Between Employment and a Student’s Major Area of Study.” The guidance explains that students are responsible for providing a description of how their job duties relate to their major area of study, which their designated school official (DSO) must review and retain in the students’ files.

In the vast majority of cases, a DSO should be able to determine whether there is a direct relationship between a student’s job and course of study based on the documentation provided by the student. If you believe the documentation does not provide a sufficient explanation, ask for additional evidence to better understand the relationship.

Although not required, you may also make use of websites that provide a general crosswalk between jobs and programs of study. Examples of these types of websites include, but are not limited to, sites maintained by the College Board, the Department of Labor and the National Center for Education Statistics.

For more information on determining a direct relationship between a job and course of study, you can download the full policy guidance under the Policy tab of the Schools page on ICE.gov/SEVIS. If you have any case-specific questions, please contact the SEVP Response Center or your assigned SEVP field representative.

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