Many F-1 visa holders go on to use the Optional Practical Training (OPT) program to gain experience in their field after studying in the United States.
OPT, which lasts up to 12 months, can be taken before you complete your degree or afterwards. In addition, people in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) can often extend their OPT experience by 24 months.
Engaging in OPT requires getting a job in your field. Sometimes, this can be a challenge, even for STEM graduates. Unfortunately, some fraudulent employers have preyed on F-1 students seeking to engage in OPT. Two of those were Findream LLC and Sinocontech LLC.
These two companies were founded by Weiyun “Kelly” Huang. She pled guilty a few years ago to a charge of conspiracy to commit visa fraud. As part of her plea, she admitted that Findream and Sinocontech were intended to provide foreign students with fraudulent employment so they could participate in OPT. This allowed some international students to remain in the United States when they otherwise might not have been able to do so.
Now, the federal government is reconsidering the status of people who have Findream or Sinocontech on their resumes, even though their OPT programs are complete. Many of these people have subsequently obtained new visas, such as H1-B visas, and are working in the U.S.
Did you fall for Findream or Sinocontech?
If you took your OPT through Findream, Sinocontech or another fraudulent OPT employer, you may not have done anything wrong. Nevertheless, having these fake companies in your job history can be problematic if immigration officials decide you were in on the scheme or benefitted from the fraud.
If immigration authorities have contacted you about your OPT program through Findream or Sinocontech, you could potentially lose your current immigration status. However, you have the right to defend yourself.
Contact Yew Immigration Law Group. We have had success in helping some former Findream and Sinocontech employees overcome these challenges. Alison Yew is a State Bar of California certified immigration law specialist.