F-1 status employees with Employment Authorization Document (EAD) are eligible an extension of 17 months provided they graduated with a STEM degree (Science, Technology, Engineering, or Mathematics), and work for an E-Verify enrolled employer. EAD provides work authorization to F-1 status foreign nationals to take part in Optional Practical Training (OPT) during the validity of their EAD.
Employers of F-1 employees who are in the 17-month extension period are obligated to report the termination or departure of an OPT employee to the Designated School Official at the student's university if the termination or departure is prior to end of the authorized period of OPT. Such reporting must be made within 48 hours of the event. An employer shall consider a worker to have departed when the employer knows the student has left the employment or if the student has not reported for work for a period of 5 consecutive business days without the consent of the employer, whichever occurs earlier.
F-1s undertaking OPT and granted the 17-month STEM extension also have obligations after receiving the 17 month STEM extension. Specifically, the student must report to his or her DSO (within 10 days) any change in:
- Legal name;
- Residential or mailing address;
- E-mail address;
- Employer name;
- Employer address;
- The student must also report to his or her DSO every six months, confirming the information listed above, even if there have been no changes; and
- The requirement to report continues if the student’s 17-month STEM extension is extended further by the automatic cap-gap extension.