The rules and student reporting responsibilities during the 24-month STEM extension are different from those throughout post-completion OPT.

During STEM OPT, an international student is still on F-1 status and Adelphi University continues to oversee the SEVIS record. In order to maintain valid F-1 status during this time, an international student must be employed in a qualifying position directly related to their academic major, comply with federal regulations and reporting requirements, and regularly check in with their DSO throughout the duration of the extension to validate Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) information and report changes made to the student’s training plan.

Status Maintenance and Employment

F-1 status is dependent upon employment during STEM OPT. This means, as an international student with STEM OPT work authorization, beginning from the start date shown on your Employment Authorization Document (EAD), you cannot accrue more than 150 calendar days of unemployment throughout the entire 24-month period of authorized OPT.

  • A student whose record lacks employer information is considered unemployed.
  • A student unemployed for more than 150 days while on standard post-completion OPT is considered no longer invalid status.

STEM OPT Student Reporting Responsibilities

Students on STEM OPT must report the following to the designated school official within 10-days of any change.

  1. Report changes to your physical address or legal name using “My Student Profile” in eCampus.
  2. Changes in Employer – Submit the Material Changes to the I-983 Training Plan using the International Services Portal within 10- days of any change
  3. Update to previously reported employment – Submit the Material Changes to the I-983 Training Plan using the International Services Portal within 10-days of any change
  4. Complete the 6 Month STEM OPT Validation request using the International Services Portal
  5. Complete the 12 Month STEM OPT Validation and Self Evaluation using the International Services Portal
  6. Complete the 18 Month STEM OPT Validation request using the International Services Portal
  7. Complete the 24 Month STEM OPT Validation and Final Evaluation using the International Services Portal
  8. STEM OPT students must report the termination of their practical training experience within 10-days of the event
  9. Report a transfer request using the International Services Portal
  10. Request a travel endorsement signature using the International Services Portal
  11. Request to bring dependents into the country using the International Services Portal

STEM OPT Employment Categories

The following are considered allowable employment activities while on active OPT, provided that the employment is directly related to the student’s academic major, the employer is E-verified, and work is at least 20 hours per week. All employment during the STEM extension must be paid employment.

Paid employment of at least 20 hours per week for an E-Verify employer in a position directly related to the DHS-approved STEM CIP.

Paid employment for more than one employer. All employers must be E-Verify registrants and all positions combined must total more than 20 hours per week, and be related to your academic major.

You may be employed by multiple short-term employers. You must be able to provide evidence of all employers showing that you are working an average of at least 20 hours per week.

You may be engaged in work for hire, commonly referred to as 1099 independent contractor employment, by an employer enrolled in E-Verify performing a service based on a contractual relationship rather than an employment relationship. You must be prepared to provide evidence showing the duration of the contract periods and the name and address of the contracting company.

You may start a business and be self-employed. You must be able to prove that you have the proper business licenses, are registered with E-Verify, and are actively engaged in a business related to your degree program.

The employment agency or consulting firm must be registered with E-Verify, but the third parties contracting with the agency or firm, for which the student is providing services, need not be. You must be able to provide evidence showing that you are working an average of at least 20 hours per week while employed by the agency.

Student and Exchange Visitor Program Resources

The STEM OPT Extension is adjudicated and authorized by the US Citizenship and Immigration Services. Please refer to these government resources for eligibility and application procedures.
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