On November 15, 2021, the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) sent Broadcast Message 2111-03 - Reminders for DSOs to Assist F-1 Students with Applying for OPT.

This SEVP reminder relates to the 8 CFR 214.2(f)(11)(i)(B)(2) requirement that students must file their application for standard post-completion OPT within 30 days of the DSO's recommendation in SEVIS. The word "within" is read to mean no later than 30 days after the DSO recommends post-completion OPT in SEVIS, i.e., the DSO must recommend OPT in SEVIS and issue the OPT Form I-20 before the student submits the OPT application to USCIS. The DSO's OPT recommendation in SEVIS starts the 30-day USCIS filing deadline clock, which is applicable to both paper and online filing.

This is also consistent with 8 CFR 214.2(f)(11)(ii), which states that a student "must have a recommendation from his or her DSO in order to apply for OPT," and 8 CFR 214.2(f)(11)(ii)(B), which states that the "DSO must update the student's SEVIS record with the DSO's recommendation for OPT before the student can apply to USCIS for employment authorization."

The text of the Broadcast Message is reproduced below:

Broadcast Message: Reminders for Designated School Officials to Assist F-1 Students with Applying for Optional Practical Training

To: All SEVIS Users 
Date: Nov. 15, 2021 
Number: 2111- 03


The Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) would like to remind designated school officials (DSOs) to ensure that F-1 students file their Forms I-765, "Application for Employment Authorization," for optional practical training (OPT) within the 30-day period after the DSO:

  • Authorizes the student for OPT in the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS), and
  • Provides the student with an updated Form I-20, "Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant Student Status," endorsed for OPT.

Please note that DSOs must complete these two steps above before the student files the Form I- 765. DSOs should ensure that students who apply for OPT are aware of these requirements and file their Forms I-765 along with all required documentation within the specified 30-day period. Additional information and resources to assist students with filing for OPT are available on the Optional Practical Training for F-1 Students page at USCIS.gov.

Disclaimer

This Broadcast Message is not a substitute for applicable legal requirements, nor is it itself a rule or a final action by SEVP. It is not intended to, does not, and may not be relied upon to create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law by any party in any administrative, civil or criminal matter.