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June 2021 SEVP Spotlight

Welcome to the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) Spotlight, a quarterly newsletter for the academic community that includes important program news, seasonal reminders, and updates relevant to the international student life cycle. As of July 2020, SEVP Spotlight consists of an update from the SEVP director.



Reminders About Summer Employment for International Students 

Another school year in the books! The start of summer marks a period when many F and M international students begin employment and/or practical training opportunities, and with that comes reporting requirements and the need to look out for fraudulent activity. This helps ensure the integrity of the system so international students can gain practical work experience while studying in the U.S.

We recognize the COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect international student employment. I encourage you to visit our online resources and make sure you are up-to-date on New U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Flexibilities for Some OPT Applicants and new online filing options for F-1 OPT applicants. F and M students and SEVP-certified schools should continue to abide by guidance issued in March 2020 for the upcoming 2021-22 academic year. Continue to refer to the Frequently Asked Questions for SEVP Stakeholders for guidance and resources. 

While SEVP is constantly monitoring to mitigate fraudulent employment activity involving international students, school officials and students should also familiarize themselves with potential fraud indicators and know how to report suspected fraud. SEVP recently published a blog post on the signs of a potentially fraudulent employer. Other indicators include:

  • Employer websites that are vague with no examples of client work, contact information or social media accounts.
  • A job’s physical location does not look suitable for employment and/or does not match the address listed on the Form I-983, “Training Plan for STEM OPT Students.”
  • A relatively unknown or unfamiliar employer that hires a large group of F or M students from a school.
  • The work is done remotely and/or through apps such as WeChat.
  • Not complying with the terms of the student’s STEM OPT training plan.

School officials or students who believe they have encountered fraudulent activity should contact the Homeland Security Investigations Tip Line or the SEVP Response Center. Visit Study in the States for new resources regarding employment compliance, including a series of blog posts and a new downloadable resource.

Wishing you all a happy and safe summer! Thank you for your continued support.  

Rachel Canty

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