Issue with USCIS and SEVIS with my OPT application


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I, Yogesh Unde, graduated from ASU with a master’s degree in Civil Engineering in December 2016. 

I am facing an issue with USCIS and SEVIS with my OPT application. May I request you to please go through the following details of the problem? 

  1.             In February 2016, I anticipated my graduation to be in April 2016 and asked my school for an OPT I-20. But, I ran in some issues with my research and realized I won't be able to complete my program by April 2016, hence I did not file the I-765. But I was unaware that I needed to extend my program date and hence failed to notify SEVIS about the same.

  2.             In July 2016, my school notified me that I was out of status since the program date had been shortened and I must apply for a reinstatement of F-1 status. In July 2016, I filed I-539. The new program completion date was Nov. 09, 2016.

  3.             With help from the USCIS Ombudsman office, I got reinstated on F-1 status on Dec. 02, 2016 from USCIS. At this time, I was in my grace period (till Jan. 08, 2017). But, SEVP database had data-linking problems and couldn't change my status from "Terminated" to "Active". My school DSO opened a ticket to resolve this with SEVP.

  4.             My grace period was about to expire and the SEVP database hadn't been updated yet. Hence, as per recommendation from an SEVP analyst, I filed I-765 on Jan 01, 2017 (without OPT I-20) with a letter from my school DSO explaining the issue with SEVP. The SEVP analyst was confident that we will receive a Request for Evidence asking for the I-20 and by that time will have the database issue resolved.

  5.             On March 03, 2017, despite a letter from the DSO explaining this complication, instead of an RFE, I received a decision denying my I-765 request. This decision was based on incorrect I-20 dates (see 1.) because SEVP still hadn’t updated the database.

As of now, I will have to file I-290B if I want to reopen the application. My school DSO reached out to USCIS to explain this situation, but yesterday, my school DSO received an email from USCIS stating that the problem is with SEVP database and we should contact them. And SEVP Help Desk says they can’t do anything unless they have a recommendation from USCIS.

I am about to lose my chance on Post OPT due to this. I would greatly appreciate any input from you. Please help me out with this problem. Hope to hear back from you soon.


Warm Regards,


Yogesh Unde


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