The United States and Immigration Services (USCIS) is updating the Optional Practical Training Extension for STEM Students (STEM OPT) page of their website in order to provide important clarifications. Specifically, students and employers will be required to report material changes to the Designated School Official (DSO) at the earliest opportunity using modified Form I-983. Employers will be required to report the STEM OPT student’s termination of employment or departure to the DSO within five (5) business days.
In addition, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is clarifying that STEM OPT participants are allowed to engage in training that takes place at a site other than their employer’s principal place of business insofar as the training obligations are met for the STEM OPT program. On a case-by-case basis, DHS will determine whether a student will be a bona fide employee of an employer and will verify that the same employer provides practical training experience and not a separate entity.
Please do not hesitate to contact our offices for any questions or concerns you may have regarding this matter.