Extension of Optional Practical Training Program under the E-Verify Program & E-Verify Requirement for Federal Contractors

Posted On: June 25, 2008

According to U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS), an additional seventeen (17) month Optional Practical Training (“OPT”) extension is available for current OPT F-1 students who have completed a science, technology, engineering, or mathematics degree and accepted employment with an employer enrolled in the E-verify program. Additionally, this extension will benefit students with pending H-1B petitions and change of status requests, as it will enable them to maintain their employment eligibility for the duration of the H-1B processing period. Without this benefit, foreign students on F-1 nonimmigrant status would only be eligible for the normal twelve (12) months of OPT to work for a U.S. employer in a field directly related to their major area of study. This employment eligibility program essentially provides a benefit for students on F-1 status who seek employment with an employer enrolled in E-Verify.

E-Verify Requirement for Federal Contractors

On June 9, 2008, Executive Order 12989 was issued, which declared E-Verify, the electronic employment eligibility verification system that all federal contractors must use. The Executive Order directs all federal departments and agencies to require contractors, as a condition of each future federal contract, to agree to use E-Verify to verify the employment eligibility of all persons hired during the contract term, and all persons performing work within the United States on the federal contract. This rule is not final, and is open for public comment at this time. Please refer to the following link for contact information, if you would like to submit a written comment. Written comments must be submitted on or before August 12, 2008.