Reminder: 24-month STEM OPT Students Must Receive Compensation
F-1 international students participating in a 24-month science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) optional practical training (OPT) extension must receive fair compensation for their training.
On the Form I-983, “Training Plan for STEM OPT Students,” employers must document information about a student’s compensation, including the dollar amount of any salary or stipend and how often the student is paid. The Form I-983 should also clearly explain the justification for a student’s compensation as it relates to their training and experience.
However, compensation for STEM OPT students is not limited to a traditional salary. Employers may also choose to compensate STEM OPT participants for other costs, including:
- Tuition waivers.
Please remember that in addition to receiving compensation, STEM OPT students must complete at least 20 hours of training per week.