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USCIS Narrows Path to Job Training for Foreign Students

Written By The Shapiro Law Group on November 13, 2012

Until recently, whenever the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (the “USCIS”) receiveda foreign student’s application for”optional practical training” (“OPT”) in a job related to the student’s field of study, the USCIS would request a new Form I-20 signed by a “designated school official” (“DSO”) if the original filing was tardy due to its being received more than 30 days after the DSO entered his or her OPT recommendation for the student into the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (“SEVIS”).

Under this approach, the DSO could simply reprint the Form I-20 from SEVIS without entering a new OPT recommendation and then sign and date it for the student to resubmit.

However, the USCIS has now publicly stated its position that the applicable regulations do not allow this approach of simply redoing the application and restarting the clock. Thus, applications submitted more than 30 days after the DSO’s original recommendation is entered into SEVIS are now being denied.

If you are a student interested in job training and immigration, you might want to consult with an attorney if the pertinent regulations and the instructions offered by your school for compliance are too confusing. We can help students who have questions about immigration and work opportunities in the U.S. For more information about how we might assist you, call our office at (847) 564-0712 to make an appointment to speak with a qualified attorney, or check out our immigration law Website for more information.