I am an international student in the US and currently on my OPT work authorization, which is a work authorization in the country for a year after graduating, and can be extended for two more since I am under STEM.

My OPT will end this June, so I have to apply for the extension right now (recommended ~2 months before OPT ends). The STEM application states that some documents need to be filled by current employer.

I would like to work it out with my manager, and NOT the HR, since I feel really comfortable with my manager and that HR is NOT my friend. Issue is that my manager did not ask me about paper work when he hired me, but HR did.

Would it look inappropriate to pull my manager into my paperwork, although that I feel it is not his business (and that it seemed he did not want to get into it)?

  • 1
    I think we say "HR is not your friend" way too often around here. Yes, you need to be cautious when approaching HR about problems in the workplace. This is not something HR should have any problems with. It's simply paperwork, and they should have no reason to make things difficult for you. Their job is to serve the company's interests, and it is in the company's interest to get you the authorization to continue working there.
    – David K
    Commented Apr 17, 2018 at 17:05

2 Answers 2


Talk to your manager in the first instance, and see how far you can get on the paperwork between the two of you. Use HR for anything that's left. You may need to put HR on the forms as a employer point of contact, but probably little else.


As David K points out in his comment above, we say "HR is not your friend" very frequently around here. In a company of any size, this is one of the areas where the statement is probably wrong.

You probably need something from your manager to document the STEM nature of your position. After that, it is quite likely that your company has a person or team in HR who owns the responsibility for the legal and documentation concerns of all employees on some form of Visa status. It is quite likely that your boss is not an expert on all of the details of immigration law but that is part of the responsibility of HR.

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