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Broadcast Message: Reporting Volunteer Positions During OPT Employment
To: Students on OPT
Date: May 18, 2018
Re: Reporting Volunteer Positions During OPT Employment
Volunteer positions that are not directly related to your course of study do not qualify as optional practical training (OPT) and must not be listed as OPT employment. Reporting non-qualifying volunteer opportunities as OPT employment will be deemed a violation of your reporting requirements and subject you to removal from the United States.
In addition, non-qualifying volunteer positions do not stop the accrual of unemployment which is limited to a total of 90 days during OPT. Accordingly, if you have been unemployed for more than 90 days, you must leave the United States or be subject to removal even if you have volunteered while unemployed.
Note: A volunteer position does not meet the conditions of a science, technology, engineering and mathematics OPT extension. Any questions related to qualifying OPT employment or accrual of unemployment should be discussed with your designated school official (DSO) or addressed to the SEVP Response Center by calling 800-892-4829 or emailing SEVP@ice.dhs.gov.
To comment on this Broadcast Message, please email SEVP@ice.dhs.gov with “Broadcast Message 1805-01 Comment” entered in the subject line.
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.