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STEM OPT for contractor through staffing company

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  • STEM OPT for contractor through staffing company


    I am a STEM graduate working as a contractor in company A through a staffing agency B which runs my payroll. Both companies are E-verified. But as according to new extension rules, there must be direct employer employee relationship. What things I can do in order to get STEM extension in this case? Has anybody got extension while working for consultancy/staffing?

    My OPT is valid till May, what is the minimum number of days I can have before my OPT expires I need to apply for extension? Thank you.

  • #2
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    • #3
      Your message was posted anonymously on our Facebook wall at 11th Dec - Please review comments from other users


      • #4
        Employer employee relationship is between you and consulting company. You are fine. It's good news that both are everifief


        • #5
          Consulting companies are considered a third party employer and OPT visa type has strict guidelines where the worker has to be employed directly by a company that meets the STEM criteria and directs day-to-day work of an employee.


          • #6
            the company A that runs the payroll has to ensure that the OPT student is working in the field of study. They may or may not directly control the employee day to day work. The company B where a company B employee manages the day to work has to provide a letter about the student's roles, responsibility. USCIS / DHS recognize that the student can be hired by a consultant for a temporary job working on 1099 (hourly pay without benefits)


            • #7
              What u said make sense to me but I found something contrary in the USCIS and DHS site.
              1) STEM OPT Employer Responsibilities
              If you are an employer who wants to provide a practical training opportunity to a STEM OPT student during his or her extension, you must:
              * Implement a formal training program to augment the student’s academic learning through practical experience.

              2) If a student uses a temporary or staffing agency to place them in a training opportunity, the agency cannot complete and sign the Form I-983, “Training Plan for STEM OPT Students.” The “Official with Signatory Authority” for a student’s Form I-983 must meet the following criteria:

              Be employed by the organization providing the training.

              Which clearly says a student must be DIRECTLY employed by company which provides training, only then a company can apply for extension. Since staffing agency fails to meet the mentioned criteria, providing training, they cannot sign the i983 form. And client, who monitor day-to-day activities doesn't meet the criteria, directly employed, is also unable to sign the i983.

              Anyone who can find alternate solution to this problem, feel free to comment.


              • #8
                I am aware of this and thank you for sharing. As I mentioned in my comment above company B has to provide a letter to verify the students work while company A signs the i983. Believe me I have seen cases where the lawyers associated to the otherwise consultant have denied to mention the place of work and supervisor. There is a grey area here, and consultancies are making benefit of it. They try to present themselves as employers to gain immigration benefits (for e.g. Filing H1b). I can explain more offline.


                • #9
                  I am currently in the same boat. Has your OPT- Ext been approved? Were you asked for any RFE, if so what did you do?

                  Thank you


                  • #10
                    Hey Guys I also have a similar RFE.
                    Was your extension approved?