ICE to conduct compliance checks on foreign students

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In what can be said as another stringent measure on part of Trump’s immigration policy, the Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers of US may soon visit workplaces to question international students and company managers who are on Optional Practical Training program in various fields like science, technology, engineering and maths. Even though these regulations were included in 2016, the agency hasn’t carried out any such checks till now. But, soon they are likely to knock the doors of companies which hire foreign students to work in US for compliance checks.

This move is said to be aimed at limiting the legal immigration for skilled workers with technical background who are granted the eligibility to work an extra year in US. The visits may include individual interviews with company personnel and testing their skill set to find out whether it matches the training program or not. Analysts have opined that these inspections might scare the international students who choose US as destination for OPT. They might also check the payrolls to find out whether the OPT worker is earning on the similar lines as US workers. In case of non compliance, the OPT worker might lose the student visa and subsequently the inability to apply for another type of visa to enter US.

In view of the notion that many US based tech employees have suffered due to extended OPT program in STEM majors, this regulation might be a matter of concern to foreign students and their employers. Even though these compliance checks are within the ambit of the ICE authority, they have been put force only recently. Till now, there are no reports of negative consequences of these checks, but they could soon yield the desired results as far the Trump administration is concerned.

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