Changes to OPT Information in SEVIS 6.23

December 14, 2015

 

SEVIS Release 6.23, implemented on December 6, 2015, contained important changes to the data fields for F-1 Optional Practical Training (OPT), as well as other changes such as collection of F-1 and M-1 student email addresses and telephone numbers. For helpful information on these changes, consult:

Changes related to OPT

Prior to SEVIS 6.23, there was one screen in SEVIS Real Time Interactive (RTI) that collected data used for processing and monitoring OPT, and which included fields for both the DSO's OPT recommendation and for information about the OPT employer:

SEVIS 6.21 Add OPT Screen

SEVIS Release 6.23, implemented on December 6, 2015, divided this into two screens, one for adding OPT recommendations and one for adding information about OPT employers. This change also now allows entering information about multiple employers.

SEVIS 623 OPT screens

In conformance with the regulations, employer information is still not a required element in order to apply for OPT. However, SEVP has also added administrative functionality that will allow them to run jobs to terminate records that contain approved post-completion OPT and that do not contain employer information for more than 90 consecutive days following the approved OPT start date. This action would relate to the 8 C.F.R. § 214.2(f)(10)(ii)(E) rule that sets an aggregate limit of 90 days of "unemployment" that can be accrued while on post-completion OPT.

SEVP mentioned that although they do not yet know when they would turn on this job, it will likely be sometime in Spring, 2016, to give schools time to put employer information into records.

With SEVIS 6.23, a report entitled "Students with Active OPT Employment Prior to the December 2015 Release" is available in the SEVIS Downloads area (click the Downloads button at the bottom of the main Listing of Schools screen to open SEVIS Downloads). SEVIS describes this report as "a one-time report [that] will not be updated. The students on this report had existing OPT that was active immediately prior to the December 2015 release. You may need to update the employer information. The conversion of employer information automatically added Employer start and end dates that are the same as the actual OPT Authorization start and end dates. You may need to edit the date so they are accurate. Students without employer information are listed, but there is no employer name. Records without employer information can be terminated for exceeding the allowed unemployed time." IMPORTANT: There have been reports that SEVIS will auto-terminate a student record if the DSO deletes an employer segment when that is the only segment in the record. If you are adding a different employer, you should add the new segment of employer/employment information first, before deleting any other segments, to avoid a possible automatic system termination of the student's SEVIS record. In addition, SEVP has stated that sometime in February or March, 2016, they will begin running the SEVIS job that terminates any SEVIS record with Active post-completion OPT that contains 90 consecutive days without employer information. Schools should begin contacting post-completion OPT students now, to collect updated employer information and to inform students of the consequences of not having employer information in their OPT record in SEVIS.