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As you start your summer and prepare to apply to participate in optional practical training with U.S. Citizenship Immigration Services (USCIS), be sure to connect with your designated school official (DSO). You may only file the Form I-765, “Application for Employment Authorization,” for OPT within the 30-day period after your DSO: 
On Nov. 24, 2021, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) posted a notice in the Federal Register that provides Special Student Relief (SSR) employment benefits for F-1 nonimmigrant students from Hong Kong who are experiencing severe economic hardship as a result of emergent circumstances in Hong Kong. This notice will temporarily suspend applicable on-campus and off-campus employment regulations for eligible Hong Kong residents.
As the summer ends, revisit these helpful resources for international students and Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP)-certified schools. Please reference the below resources for reminders about Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) guidance for the fall 2021 semester, travel reminders for international students, employment resources and more. Contacting SEVP with COVID-19 Questions
For F-1 students and employers participating in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) optional practical training (OPT) program, the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) may visit employer locations. Overview of Employer Site VisitsThe March 2016 STEM OPT rule allows the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to conduct site visits of employers that train STEM OPT students. These are routine visits that SEVP initiated shortly after the rule became effective in 2016. 
Each year—usually by April 15—anyone who earns an income in the United States is required to file and pay taxes to the federal government. However, F and M international students must follow special regulations when paying taxes on their income. For information on how to file and pay your taxes while studying in the United States, visit these resources:
Special Student Relief (SSR) is the suspension of certain regulatory requirements by the secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for an F‑1 student from parts of the world that are experiencing emergent circumstances. Regulatory requirements that may be suspended or altered for an F-1 student include: duration of status, full course of study and off-campus employment eligibility.
A volunteer position that is not directly related to an F-1 student’s course of study does not qualify as optional practical training (OPT) and must not be listed as OPT employment on a student’s Student and Exchange Visitor Information System record.