Written by Benjamin Lau The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) recently announced that it is implementing a new filing fee schedule that will take effect on October 2, 2020. USCIS is also revising numerous key employment-based immigration forms, such as new editions of the Form I-129 nonimmigrant worker petition for H-1B, L-1, O-1 and other nonimmigrant categories. The new forms are not currently … Continue reading USCIS Announces New Fees: What Employers Need to Know
Written by David S. Rugendorf Faced with logistical difficulties in producing work authorization documents (EAD cards), a growing backlog of applications and related litigation, the USCIS announced yesterday (August 19, 2020) that it would, in limited circumstances, allow paper I-797 approval notices to suffice as evidence of employment authorization, even though these notices explicitly state that they are not valid as evidence of same. US … Continue reading USCIS: Approval Notices May (Temporarily) Evidence Authorization to Work in US
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (“ICE”) has recently increased site visits for employers who employ F-1 students under STEM OPT (short for Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics Optional Practical Training) work authorization. While ICE has had this authority since the STEM regulations were passed in 2016, the agency only recently started conducting site visits to ensure that employers and F-1 students remain in compliance with the regulations governing F-1 STEM OPT work authorization.
What Is STEM OPT?
STEM OPT allows eligible F-1 visa students with STEM degrees from accredited U.S. colleges or universities to apply for an additional 24 months of Occupational Practical Training. This is in addition to the initial, one-year post-completion OPT granted to all non-STEM-degree F-1 students. In addition to the STEM degree requirements, the F-1 visa student must secure employment with a bona fide employer, work a minimum of 20 hours per week for that employer, and the employer must provide a formal, practical training and learning program within the STEM field which is related to the F-1 student’s degree. Details of the training program are outlined by the employer on Form I-983, which is submitted to and approved by the Designated School Official at the F-1 student’s academic institution.
What Is a Site Visit? Continue reading “ICE To Increase STEM OPT Worksite Inspections”