Problem: students on Curricular Practical Training (CPT) are always sent to secondary verification by E-Verify.
From our own practice and from statistics released by the government, it is clear that more and more employers are signing up for E-Verify, some in response to federal or state regulations, some on their own effort to maintain a compliant workforce. However, as more and more foreign nationals are being screened through the system, we are starting to notice some of the less obvious quirks of the system.
One of those quirks is the fact that F-1 students who have are working under CPT, which is employment that is part of a student’s specified degree curriculum. The Designated School Official (DSO) authorizes CPT for students before they can begin wok by annotating their I-20 in accordance with the 8 CFR 214.2(f)(10)(i). Unlike Optional Practical Training (OPT), no employment authorization from USCIS is needed.
The problem has two parts. First is the requirement that all E-Verify employers conduct checks on all of ther employees, including students on CPT. The second part is the fact that E-Verify is not connected to SEVIS, the system which maintains the foreign students’ records, including CPT authorizations. As a result, E-Verify always sends a CPT student to secondary verification.
The USCIS has responded that even though students on CPT are always sent to secondary verification, such secondary verification should occur within 24 hours, assuming the student’s record can be located in the SEVIS system. Despite USCIS claims, we urge students on CPT and employers who employ such students to be aware of this quirk in E-Verify and allow extra time for E-Verify screening.