Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has increased the number of workplace site visits for F-1 students employed pursuant to STEM. Accordingly, Employers should have a plan if ICE, USCIS, or DOL arrives for a site visit.

On Site Arrival

  1. The officer may or may not have advanced knowledge or the officers’ visit; officer will have credentials.
  2. You may call Adams Immigration for guidance and assistance during the visit
  3. No subpoena is needed.
  4. Clarify WHO and WHICH office to direct the officer to. Generally this will be whomever signed the underlying documentation.
  5. The officer may ask to speak with hiring authority, the employee, the supervisor, or the person signing forms .
  6. Be aware that ICE can revoke or terminate the STEM OPT if they determine that the student is not engaging in OPT in compliance.


To Prepare for a possible visit:

  • Have a plan for who meets with the officer initially and how the visit will be handled
  • Ensure E-Verify status has been continuous and all aspects are in compliance.
  • Review the STEM I-983 and be sure that the plan is being followed and that the work is a legitimate training program
  • Be sure the employee (legally and F-1 Student for nonimmigrant purposes) has provided required updates to the authorizing DSO (Designated School Advisor) including address changes and required annual reporting
  • If there have been changed from the statements made in the I-983, ensure that a new form is prepared and submitted to the DSO

What ICE is looking for:

  • Validate that OPT training is being carried out as per the plans documented on Form I-983
  • If there has been any changes, an updated I-983 was filed with the DSO
  • May want to tour the work place
  • May seek to confirm that the skills and degree of the employee match with the on-the-job training job requirements
  • Ask for payroll information to confirm that the STEM OPT trainee salary is  the same as for other similar positions
  • Work hours and work schedule options are the same as other employees
  • If the STEM OPT student is absent on day of ICE visit, leave or vacation records may be requested.
  • If absent on the day of the visit, ICE may schedule a phone call later with the employee at their discretion
  • Identity if the trainee is working at third party client work location

H-1B Temporary Workers

  • Have a plan for who meets with the officer initially and how the visit will be handled
  • Be sure your Public Access Files (PAF) are up to date and complete
  • Review the underlying employer petition to ensure that job duties, work place, etc., are still accurate; if changes, contact Adams Immigration for action
  • Confirm that salary matches or exceeds the LCA
  • Normal salary increases are normal and should be documented in the PAF
  • Verify that the H-1B employee’s passport and I-94 record are valid and expires in the future. Travel outside the US may result in a shortened I-94; accordingly we suggest you check after each re-entry to the US for any potential shortening of the period of stay)
  • If petition does not include supervision, be sure there is nothing to suggest that supervision of others is taking place


For more information, call Adams Immigration at 317-967-6000.