U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has launched a new Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) online portal that allows F-1 students participating in post-completion optional practical training (OPT) and M-1 students in practical training to update employer and personal information directly.

Key points:

  • The portal allows eligible F-1 and M-1 students to update their phone numbers, mailing addresses, physical addresses and employer information online. Previously, they would have needed to rely on their Designated School Official (DSO) to complete this reporting.
  • An exception is that science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) OPT student trainees cannot update employer information using the portal because the Form I-983, “Training Plan for STEM OPT Students,” mandates that the DSO update employer information on the student’s behalf.
  • SEVP has advised eligible students to confirm with their DSO that they have an up-to-date email registered in the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) in order to use the new portal.
  • Additional information will be posted on the Study in the States Stakeholder Webinars page and the SEVP portal’s help section.

BAL Analysis: Use of the new portal is optional, but could be a convenient choice for eligible students. OPT students are reminded that they must report changes in their name, address, or employer, and loss of employment within 10 days of a change. SEVP has stressed that while the portal will allow students to update certain personal and employer information, it does not grant them direct access to the SEVIS system and does not affect DSOs’ ability to use the system in any way.

This alert has been provided by the BAL U.S. Practice group. For additional information, please contact berryapplemanleiden@bal.com.

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