Employment and Reporting Requirements
- Employment must be paid.
- Employment must be full time. More than 20 hours per week.
- Employment must be directly related to your course of study.
- Limitation on Unemployment for the STEM OPT Extension. Students approved for the 24-month STEM OPT extension may not accrue more than a total of 150 days of unemployment throughout their entire 36 months on OPT. Time spent outside the United States, if not employed by a U.S. employer, is counted towards the 150-day period of unemployment. To count as “employed” a student should be able to provide evidence, acquired from the student’s employer, to verify that he or she worked at least 20 hours per week during the period of reported employment.
- Unemployment Caution: SEVIS records will automatically terminate for students who have no employment reported for 150 days. Be sure that you have made alternate plans and communicated them to ISSO before your record is terminated. If you have any concerns, you can always contact your ISSO adviser.
Reporting RequirementsThere are three types of reporting requirements for students while on the STEM OPT extension:
- General Reporting: Any changes in the student’s legal name, address, employer, or employment status within 10 days of the change.
- Validation Reporting: A 6-, 12- and 18-month validation report to the DSO that confirms the student’s name, address, employer name and address, and employment status are correct.
- Self-Evaluations: Self-evaluations are submitted at the end of any employment and at the 12 and 24 month marks from the start date of the STEM extension.
General Reporting:During the STEM OPT extension period, such as the initial 12 months of post-completion OPT, the student must:
- Report to the DSO any changes in the student’s legal name, address, employer or employment status within 10 days of the change.
- Change in status of current employment, including loss of employment, change of status to H-1B, transfer to another F-1 program, or change employers. If you change employers, you and your employer will need to complete a new Form I-983 and submit to ISSO.
- To report a change, students must complete the form listed below then submit to the ISSO with supporting documents:
- Employment change: Employment Information Waiver From
- Address change: AR-11 Form
- Name change or status change: Special Request Form
- Student and employers must also report a change in any of the following via the Form I-983:
- Employer name and address
- Decrease in student's compensation
- Reduction in hours worked to less than 20 hours a week
- Employer's EIN
- Termination of employment
Validation /OPT Participation Report
Validation Reports due
Student is in a period of active STEM OPT extension.
SEVIS record was not updated to reflect the validation report.
Date is 46 days after the reporting deadline
Self - Evaluations
Students must submit self-evaluations via the Form I-983 during the first 12 months on the STEM OPT extension and at the completion of the 24-month extension period or at the conclusion of employment, whichever comes first. Evaluations should be submitted within 10 days of the required date.
- Student still works for original employer: Must submit a self-evaluation within 10 days of the 12- and 24-month marks of the start date of STEM OPT employment authorization.
- Student changes employers before the 12- and/or 24-month marks: Must submit self-evaluation within 10 days of ending each employment with current employer.
Keep records of your employment history for your personal file, to present as evidence of maintaining lawful status should you apply for future immigration benefits.
Examples of records to keep:
- offer letters
- payroll stubs
- letters describing volunteer activity and hours