June 26, 2018
In a new "broadcast message," SEVIS Response Center advises that foreign students engaging in volunteer work that is unrelated to their course of study does not qualify as optional practical training (OPT) and should not be listed as OPT employment. Reporting nonqualifying volunteer work as OPT employment could be considered a violation of the student's reporting requirements and subject them to removal. Additionally, nonqualifying volunteer work does not stop the accrual of unemployment, which the OPT program has limited to a total of 90 days.
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