Monday, July 20, 2009

Problems with SEVIS impacting F-1 OPT

International Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) has received reports of SEVIS records for F-1 students being erroneously terminated or completed when students are eligible for the cap-gap extension. This is occurring after USCIS adjudicators enter approved petition information into a database which interfaces with the CLAIMS Mainframe. It has been discovered that a glitch in the interface is preventing petition information from reaching the CLAIMS Mainframe, including the start date of the petition approval (i.e. an October 1 start date on an H-1B). When the CLAIMS Mainframe does not have any benefit dates to send to SEVIS, SEVIS interprets it as an immediate change of change of status, thus causing the student’s record to terminate or complete, rather than being properly updated with a future change of status and cap-gap extension

If you are an F-1 student or an employer of an F-1 student and learn that the student’s SEVIS record has been improperly terminated or completed, the student’s DSO should be contacted to ensure that the DSO contacts the SEVIS Help Desk. The DSO must request the SEVIS Help Desk to have the record returned to Active status and add the cap-gap extension.

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