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OPT STEM Reminders and ICE Worksite Visits

While on STEM OPT, F-1 international students are required to comply with immigration regulations and continue to maintain their status. Here are a few reminders for UD international students who are currently on STEM OPT Extension:

  • Employment: Your position must be directly related to your STEM degree field.
  • Work Hours: You must work a minimum of 20 hours per week.
  • E-Verify: Your employer must be E-Verified in order to be eligible for STEM extension.
  • Mentoring: Your employer must submit/certify a mentoring and training plan on the Form I-983.
  • Pay: Your employment must be paid and subject to wage protection.
  • Unemployment: You may not be unemployed for more than 150 days total for the entire 3 year OPT/STEM OPT period.
  • Self-Employment: You are not eligible for self-employment. Your STEM OPT must be based on a bona-fide employer-employee relationship.
  • Reporting Changes: Please report any changes in your name, address, email address, employer’s name, or employer’s address to OISS within 10 days.
  • STEM OPT Employment Evaluations: You must confirm the validity of your employment information with OISS every six months. You must also complete the self-evaluation sections of the Form I-983 after 12 months and 24 months of the STEM extension and submit them to OISS.

  • Please note: Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) may contact you or your employer for a potential site visit while you are on STEM OPT. Employers providing practical training opportunities to STEM OPT students should plan in advance for site visits and ensure that they are meeting the obligations for the training plan reported on the F-1 student worker’s Form I-983. This includes verification that the training is directly related to the F-1 student worker’s qualifying STEM degree; and that the employer is conducting regular evaluations of the F-1 student worker through the STEM extension period. For more information, please see: OPT STEM worksite visits.

    Additional resources on STEM OPT:

  • OPT STEM Hub
  • OISS Employment

  • If you or your employer have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact OISS at any time. Our immigration advisors are available to assist you.