3 Questions: Maria Zuber on guidance for foreign nationals following recent Homeland Security memo

On January 9, 2020, the Overseas Scholars Office (ISchO) wrote to international scholars at MIT just who hold F-1 STEM Optional Useful Training (OPT) status; professors and senior researchers who may serve as their supervisors; and human resources administrators in departments, laboratories, and facilities. The memos resolved prospective boss confirmation visits because of the U.S. Department of Homeland safety (DHS). Vice-president for Research Maria Zuber, to whom ISchO reports, talked with MIT Information to explain the objective of memos and offer guidance.

Q: Why performed ISchO write to the MIT neighborhood today?

A: this past year, DHS announced that it was likely to boost visits to companies of international nationals in F-1 STEM Optional Practical Training (OPT) condition. Ever since then, we’ve been building assistance for many at MIT because condition, plus their particular supervisors. 

The memos ISchO sent last week were perhaps not encouraged by way of a site go to by DHS, a notice of an imminent site check out, or even a grievance. These people were meant as a basic reminder to postdocs, site visitors, as well as other researchers, as well as their supervisors, of the steps to take in case DHS contacts them at any point in the long term. Many establishments have actually sent comparable guidance with their communities. It had been definitely not our purpose to alarm the city, and we also sincerely apologize for causing any excessive issue.

DHS has actually stated the key reason why it could create a go to, including: to ensure an manager has actually adequate sources and supervisors to produce training the F-1 STEM OPT worker; to confirm that the employee is involved with that instruction, as explained within the STEM OPT expansion application; and possibly to demand details about wages being paid towards the foreign worker and similar U.S. workers. 

Q: performs this affect students?

A: No. The DHS assistance refers and then international national workers in F-1 immigration standing with authorized STEM OPT extensions and their particular employers. DHS made no reference to enrolled students; international students or scholars in every other immigration status; other international national workers; international nationals in their preliminary 12-month period of post-completion F-1 condition; or DACA pupils.

Q: just what should MIT neighborhood members in F-1 STEM OPT standing do if DHS contacts all of them regarding STEM OPT extensions?

A: we have been committed to safeguarding members of our worldwide neighborhood, and encourage anybody who receives outreach from DHS to contact the Overseas Scholars Office and the Office associated with the General Counsel. 

ISchO in addition to Overseas Students Office (ISO) work to prepare Q&A sessions at the beginning of the spring semester, and can discover ways to share details with your community into the days ahead. For the present time, the administrators of ISchO while the ISO have been in touch with intercontinental scholars and students to present clarification, plus pupil help Services (S3) dean whom works closely with MIT’s DACA student neighborhood features contacted these students to provide reassurance.