As exceeding unemployment limits can result in a loss of status, we are reminding F-1 aliens participating in post-completion Optional Practical Training (OPT), and their designated school officials (DSOs), that they must update the employer information in the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS), including unemployment data. Federal regulations require F-1 aliens to notify their DSO within 10 days of any changes to their personal or employment information. In turn, DSOs must update SEVIS with the alien’s information within 21 days. This reminder helps ensure F-1 aliens and DSOs properly comply with existing requirements.
Aliens in F-1 nonimmigrant status may update their employer information through the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) Portal, a tool that allows F and M aliens participating in post‑completion practical training to report accurate and timely information directly to SEVP. DSOs may update the information in SEVIS following the instructions to add, edit, or delete the OPT employer. If aliens are unsure of whether they should report information using the portal, or provide the information to their DSO, they should contact their DSO for instructions.
Aliens in F-1 nonimmigrant status and DSOs must ensure that information is entered timely in SEVIS, so that the alien’s record is current and reflects actual employment data. SEVIS will count each day without employer information toward the total number of unemployment days allowed. Failure to update employer information in SEVIS to reflect that the alien is employed may result in any or all of the following actions:
- The alien exceeding unemployment limits and therefore failing to maintain F-1 nonimmigrant status, rendering them removable, unless they are otherwise in a period of authorized stay;
- SEVP setting an alien’s SEVIS record to “terminated” if they have exceeded unemployment limits;
- U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) initiating revocation proceedings for an alien’s Employment Authorization Document if they have exceeded unemployment limits; and
- The exceeded unemployment limits negatively affecting the alien’s future benefit requests filed with USCIS.
For more information about the SEVP Portal, including step-by-step instructions and videos, visit the SEVP Portal Help section on the Department of Homeland Security Study in the States website. See the Unemployment Counter page on the SEVIS Help Hub for information about SEVIS unemployment calculations.