Employer Obligations When Employment Ends Prior to the End of STEM OPT Authorized Period
Employers must notify the student’s Designated School Official (DSO) no later than five business days after an F-1 employee on STEM OPT’s employment terminates for any reason before the end of the employee’s work authorization period. For example, if a student is employed with your company on STEM OPT with an EAD card valid from May 1, 2022 to April 30, 2024, and the student’s employment terminates on July 15, 2023, the employer must notify the student’s DSO within five business days of the student’s termination. NOTE: There are no employer reporting requirements for F-1 employees on post-completion or pre-completion OPT whose employment terminates for any reason before the end of the employee’s work authorization period.
If the employer continues to employ the F-1 employee on STEM OPT through the end of the work authorization period, then the date the work authorization period ends would be the employee’s last day of employment. In this case, the employer would have no reporting obligations.
In any case, the employer will have no obligation to ensure that the individual does in fact depart the U.S. after their EAD expires. If the individual does not depart for any reason, the employer would not be subject to any liability regarding that individual’s potentially unauthorized stay.
McCown & Evans will continue to monitor the new policies and will provide additional updates as information is released. And, as always, reach out to your attorney at McCown & Evans with any questions.