Tuesday, August 21, 2018

USCIS BACKTRACKS: STEM OPT EMPLOYMENT AT THIRD PARTY WORKSITES IS NOW PERMITTED


USCIS has updated its Optional Practical Training Extension for STEM Students (STEM OPT) webpage indicating STEM OPT participants may engage in training experience at third party worksites as long as the all of the training obligations are met.  The employer must maintain a bona fide employer/employee relationship with the student.  Previously the USCIS had said that STEM OPTs could not work at third-party locations. 

Any material changes in the student’s employment must be reported to the Designated School Official (DSO) within 5-10 business days.  These changes include any modifications to the training listed on the I-983, a change in the employer’s name or address, and termination of the student’s employment.

The USCIS’ backtracking was likely a result of a lawsuit filed in federal court.  That lawsuit, ITServe Alliance v. Nielsen, was filed by Attorney Jon Wasden.  Jon, who is a friend of MU Law, previously worked for the USCIS’ AAO Office.  He has filed several lawsuits on behalf of H-1B employees and H-1B employers.  If you have an egregious denial decision and would like to have Jon review your case, please contact him or contact MU and we an put you in touch with him.

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