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STEM OPT

Employers: Know the Four Questions a STEM OPT Training Plan Needs to Answer

May 31, 2016

The Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) requires employers with international students participating in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) optional practical training (OPT) extension to answer four specific questions when developing a Form I-983, “Training Plan for STEM OPT Students,” with their F-1 students:

  • How are the student’s assignments with the employer related to the student’s STEM degree?
  • How will the assignments with the employer contribute to the student making progress toward professional goals and objectives?
  • How will the employer evaluate the student?
  • How will the employer supervise the student?

Additionally, the training plan must clearly identify a STEM OPT student’s learning objectives and the employer’s commitment to helping the student achieve their objectives. The employer must also attest that the student will not replace a full-time or part-time temporary worker.

The final step before submitting the Form I-983 to a designated school official is choosing an “Official with Signatory Authority” who will sign the final form. This individual must be familiar with the STEM OPT student’s goals and performance, and can confirm that the statements on the Form I-983 are true and correct.

Download the Training STEM OPT Students presentation for more detailed information on the new STEM OPT regulation and requirements for employers. 

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