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U.S. Employers Can Place F-1 Students on STEM OPT at Client's Worksite

Hi William,

As a F-1 student on
STEM Optional Practical Training (OPT), can I work on my employer's client worksite?


USCIS has changed its STEM Optional Practical Training (OPT) rule, clarifying that employers can place F-1 student on STEM OPT at client and customer worksites provided that all STEM OPT regulatory training obligations are met. Previously, USCIS takes the position that offsite STEM OPT employment was prohibited in all instances, despite USCIS regulations that do not establish such a prohibition.

Now, as long as the STEM employer and the F-1 have a valid employer-employee relationship, and the employer that signs the STEM training plan is the same entity that employs the F-1 student, and provides the practical training experience, third party placement can be permissible under the STEM OPT program.

The employers and employees should report obligations under the STEM OPT program, this includes the obligation to report material changes in the training opportunity to the Designated School Official (DSO) at the earliest opportunity, and the obligation to report the STEM OPT student’s termination of employment or departure to the DSO within five business days. Failure to adhere to these and other reporting obligations are violations of status, and could subject the F-1 to the accrual of unlawful presence.

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