U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Student and Exchange Visitor Program announced Tuesday that it will not be creating a new Optional Practical Training (OPT) Employment Compliance Unit as previously announced less than two weeks ago.

Key Points:

  • The unit was supposed to be dedicated to investigating, referring and reporting employer and student violations of OPT programs.
  • On Tuesday, ICE said that it had conducted additional reviews of its compliance efforts and determined that it is already performing much of the proposed work of the new unit. “As such, the creation of a new unit is not necessary at this time,” the announcement said.
  • Less than a week into the new administration’s term, President Joe Biden has reversed a number of Trump immigration policies and put a freeze on regulations in the pipeline. Additional immigration actions are expected this Friday on what the Biden administration is calling “Immigration Day.”

Additional Information: Employers and schools should nevertheless continue to make sure they are in compliance with rules and obligations under Optional Practical Training, Curricular Practical Training and the STEM-OPT extension programs.

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

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