STEM 24 Month OPT Extension: Changes, Challenges, and Compliance (Part 3 of 3)

This post is the third in a three part series of blog posts on the new STEM 24 month OPT extension regulations, which are in effect as of May 2016.

The first post in the series provides an overview of the new regulations, including a summary of what is changing and what is not.

In the second post, we will focus on the training plan requirement, and look at what types of employers the STEM 24 month OPT extension may best be suited for.

The final post in the series will look at compliance issues for both the student and the STEM OPT employer.

What are the STEM OPT Student’s Obligations for Compliance?

The F-1 STEM OPT extension student must meet the following requirements:

  1. Apply for STEM OPT before the regular OPT ends
  2. Complete and sign the training plan (I-983)
  3. Validate information in the SEVIS record and report information to the DSO within 10 days of the reporting date
  4. Complete and sign the student self-evaluation
  5. Report to the DSO any material changes to or changes from the existing training plan
  6. Notify the DSO and submit a new training plan when changing employers, within 10 days
  7. Report a change in name, residential or mailing address, employer name or address, and/or loss of employment to DSO, within 10 days
  8. Report noncompliance to the US Department of Homeland Security

What are the STEM OPT Employer’s Obligations for Compliance?

These requirements represent a big change from the previous STEM regulations. An employer who hires a STEM OPT extension student must be sure to comply with all requirements, including the following:

  1. Complete and sign the training plan (I-983)
  2. Complete and sign the student self-evaluation
  3. Report to the DSO any material changes to or changes from the existing training plan. This includes changes to the employer’s FEIN resulting from a corporate restructuring, a reduction in compensation, and any decrease in hours below 20 hours a week
  4. Report the termination of the student’s practical training to the DSO within 5 business days (or the student’s failure to report for the training for 5 consecutive business days)
  5. Report noncompliance to the US Department of Homeland Security
  6. Certify the training plan, which includes (but is not limited to) agreeing to provide compensation commensurate with similarly employed workers, and confirming that the STEM OPT extension does not replace a full-time or-part time temporary or permanent US worker

The employer should also keep in mind that by participating in this program, they are agreeing to have unannounced site visits by FDNS (Fraud Detection and National Security) officers.

Please keep in mind that there are several changes to the new STEM OPT extension. Students should coordinate carefully with their DSOs to make sure that all requirements are met.

Do you need assistance with a family-based or employment-based immigration matter? Please contact our office to learn how we can help. Call us at 804-396-3412 or email at info@sumnerimmigration.com. We look forward to hearing from you!

Recent blog posts

Mar
1
2021
Great news for those applying for naturalization to become a US citizen! USCIS will now continue to use the 2008 version of the civics test. In the last days of the Trump administration, USCIS announced that they would use a longer and harder version… Read More
Feb
6
2021
By Nikita Hernandez, Sumner Immigration Law Paralegal It’s official! You’ve become Mr. or Mrs. and want to take on your spouse’s name while getting your US permanent residence situated, but when is the best time to do that? APPLYING FOR A NAME… Read More
Feb
2
2021
One of the most common questions that we receive from our clients is about case processing time. The USCIS and DOL estimated case processing times are available online, but that source can be frustrating as they sometimes give a wide range of timefra… Read More

Read More Blog Posts

“We hired Ms. Sumner’s firm to file my Green Card application. Ours was not a complicated case but our decision to hire an attorney was to ensure that we completed all the paperwork (there were quite a few forms including one that we were not aw…”
– Naeem
“Emily is detailed oriented Attorney who takes care of my immigration status since 2006. She is very knowledgeable and clarify all the client’s questions and take care of the business. I recommend her for all these type of attorney services.”
– Sundarraj P.

More Client Reviews