STEM OPT Requirements
It is the student’s responsibility to know, understand, and follow the rules and regulations about STEM OPT work authorization, as provided by USCIS.
1. Report U.S. Address or Contact Information Changes to SEVP within 10 days
You must report these changes to SEVP directly by using your online SEVP Portal Account. If you completed OPT previously, it is likely that you already have an SEVP portal account. If unable to access the portal, email firstname.lastname@example.org requesting a portal reset.
2. Report Employment Changes to ISS within 10 days
When an employment change has occurred, submit all 5 pages of the new training plan I-983 form to the international student portal for ISS staff to update your employment information with SEVP. A new I-20 can be provided to you upon request.
A new I-983 Form submission is required if:
- Changing employers
- Any time there is a “material” change in the terms and conditions of the original I-983. These include, but not limited to, the following:
- Change to the employer’s EIN.
- Any reduction in compensation from the amount previously stated on the form, which is not tied to a reduction in hours worked.
- Any significant decrease in hours a student engages in a STEM training opportunity.
- Any decrease in hours below the 20 hours per week minimum requirement.
3. Complete Employment Validity Reports every 6 months & Self Evaluations at the 1-year and 2-year mark:
You must confirm your current employment information with SEVP every 6-months, even if unchanged, by submitting an employment validation report via the international student portal. You will also complete self-evaluations in conjunction with these Employment Validity reports at the 1 year/(halfway) and 2 year/(final) mark.
- Self-Evaluation Report 1 (The 1 year/halfway of STEM OPT Extension): The first evaluation (also referred to as the “Evaluation of Student Progress” portion of your Form I-983 and located at the top half of page 5 on your I-983) must be completed and signed by you and your immediate supervisor, and then submitted to the ISS office at email@example.com.
- Self-Evaluation Report 2 (The 2 year/final of STEM OPT Extension): The second evaluation (also referred to as the “Evaluation of Student Progress” located at the bottom half of page 5 on your I-983) must be completed and signed by you and your immediate supervisor, and then submitted to the ISS office at firstname.lastname@example.org.