STEM Extension Reporting
There are significantly more reporting requirements for F-1 students while on STEM OPT Extension. Use OIS’ STEM OPT CALCULATOR to calculate your validation/evaluation reporting timeline. All other reporting must take place within 10 days of a change. Please read through all requirements listed below, as some changes may require multiple ‘reports.’
- Address Information. F-1 students on STEM OPT Extension are required to update any changes to contact information. Within 10 days of a change, you must update your U.S. residential or permanent foreign address in GlobalHome.
- Personal Information. You must report changes to the following information by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org:
- Legal name
- Email address
- Early completion of STEM OPT. Ending STEM OPT early due to one of the following changes must be reported through the STEM Extension Reporting forms in GlobalHome, according to the ‘ending employment’ instructions in the Employment Changes section below:
- Immigration status (for example, change to H-1B or F-2)
- Departure from the U.S.
- Transfer to another school to begin a new academic program
Validations and Evaluations
DHS requires STEM OPT Extension students to verify their employment information (validation) and evaluate their training progress (evaluation) regularly throughout the STEM OPT Extension period. Please keep in mind that at the 12 and 24 month marks, these requirements overlap and both reports are due. Use OIS’ STEM OPT CALCULATOR to calculate your validation and evaluation timeline.
- Data Validation (every 6 months). Every six months STEM OPT Extension students are required to confirm their employment and address information. You must report to OIS 6 months, 12 months,18 months, and 24 months after the start of your STEM OPT Extension
- Your Data Validation must be submitted through the STEM Extension Reporting forms in GlobalHome.
- The window for reporting a 6-month data validation opens 30 days before the “reporting date” (i.e. the 6-month mark from your EAD start date) and is due no later than 10 days after the reporting date. OIS then has 21 days to submit the report in SEVIS.
- If you are unemployed at the time your report is due, still submit your STEM Extension Reporting form.
- Annual Evaluations (every 12 months). Every 12 months STEM OPT Extension students are required to submit a self-evaluation (page 5 of Form I-983) on the progress of your training experience, which must be signed by you and your employer.
- Your annual evaluation must be submitted through the STEM Extension Reporting forms in GlobalHome. **Please note, your I-983 must be in a pdf format to upload to GlobalHome**
- Please complete the relevant section on page 5 of Form I-983 with your completed self-evaluation; no need to redo pages 1 – 4 of Form I-983 unless there has been a material change to your training plan (see below).
- The evaluations can be submitted as early as 30 days prior to the “reporting date” (i.e. the 12-month mark from your EAD start date) and are due no later than 10 days after the reporting date. OIS then has 21 days to submit the report in SEVIS.
- Adding a New Employer. You must notify OIS if you are beginning employment with a new employer by completing the STEM Extension Reporting forms in GlobalHome. You will need the following documents to complete the report:
- New I-983 (pages 1-4) completed and signed by you and your new employer. **Please note, your I-983 must be in a pdf format to upload to GlobalHome**
- Final self-evaluation of your performance with the previous employer (if ending that employment) on page 5 of Form I-983 signed by you and your previous employer.
- If you continue to work with your original employer (i.e. you just need to add another employer), you don’t need to submit the final self-evaluation.
- If your work with your original employer ended before the start date of your STEM OPT extension, you don’t need to submit the final self-evaluation.
- After OIS receives your report, we will update your SEVIS record and issue a new I-20 for you. We will send you an email when your new I-20 is ready. If your STEM OPT application is pending at the time you change employers, we will also send an electronic notification to USCIS about the change. No additional action will be required from you.
- Ending Employment. You must complete the STEM Extension Reporting forms in GlobalHome to report ending a job. “Ending employment” includes ending your STEM OPT period (completing early or changing visa status), leaving one job to start another, and unemployment due to being fired, furloughed, laid-off, resigning, or the otherwise being unemployed. As part of this report, you are required to complete a final evaluation (page 5 of I-983) for this STEM OPT employment opportunity and will need to upload the pdf when completing the reporting form.
- STEM OPT Extension students are allowed up to 150 days of unemployment over the entire OPT period (post-completion and STEM Extension combined). See more details below.
- Changing Continuing Employment: “Material Changes.” You must complete the STEM Extension Reporting forms in GlobalHome if there are any material changes to, or material deviations from, your formal training plan as documented on the I-983. Material changes must be reported through an updated I-983 (pdf) that you will upload in the reporting form. These changes include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Change in employer address
- Change of the employer’s EIN
- Any reduction in student compensation that is not tied to a reduction in hours worked
- Any significant decrease in hours worked per week
- Changes to the employer’s commitments or student’s learning objectives as documented on the Form I-983
- Changing Continuing Employment: “Non-Material Changes.” Changes to your continuing employment that are not considered ‘material changes’ (for example, change in supervisor or job title) may be reported directly in your SEVP Portal account.
Days of Allowable Unemployment
Students who are granted the 24-month STEM extension of OPT can have up to 150 cumulative days of unemployment during the 36-month OPT period (the original 12-month OPT plus the 24-month STEM OPT extension). Not more than 90 days of unemployment can be used during the initial 12-month OPT, and an additional 60 days of unemployment are granted for STEM OPT. If, for example, you used 50 days of unemployment during your initial 12-month OPT, you will have 100 days of unemployment left for your STEM OPT extension.
Reporting in GlobalHome
In Global Home you will find a group of six forms referred to as “STEM Extension Reporting.” This group must be submitted as a whole group whenever you have to complete any one of the following reports:
- Data Validations, Annual Evaluations, and Final Evaluations
- Reporting New Employment or Ending Employment
- Reporting changes to current employment
Any time you need to submit a report for one of the above reasons to OIS, you will need to submit the whole STEM Extension Reporting group of forms. You will use this group multiple times over the course of your STEM Extension. And if you have multiple changes to report at one time, you can report those all at once using this group.
How do I access the STEM Extension Reporting form? In GlobalHome, STEM Extension Reporting is located under the “F-1 Practical Training” Section. Or you can go directly from this link: STEM Extension Reporting form.
Do I have to complete every single form in the group if I’m just trying to report one thing? Yes. You will have to submit every form. Some of the forms will ask you if you need to complete that particular report. If you select “no” you will be prompted to submit and can move to the next form.
What should I do before submitting the STEM Extension Reporting forms? We recommend that you prepare by doing the following:
- Complete the STEM Calculator to confirm your reporting windows.
- Log in to your SEVP Portal account and make sure that everything is up to date. If there is information in your Portal that needs to be updated but is uneditable, you will be able to report this change(s) through the STEM Extension Reporting form.
- If you are due for your annual evaluation or final evaluation, have your I-983 pdf ready to upload. Please connect the evaluation page of your I-983 (page 5) to the first 4 pages of your I-983 for that employer and upload all five 5 pages when completing the form.
- If you are adding a new employer or reporting a material change to a current employer, have your new I-983 pdf ready to upload.
Do I have to complete all the forms in the STEM Extension Reporting group at once? Can I save a draft? When proceeding through the six forms in this group, you cannot save an individual form as a draft. However, any forms you “submit” are saved. You may leave the group and return later to complete the forms not yet submitted or edit the forms you’d previously submitted. To return to your request, go back to the STEM Extension Reporting page to see a list of your started and completed forms. Each instance of the form you have started or completed will be listed with the date you began the request. If you start a new request instead of returning to your previous request in progress, you will have to start the group from the beginning. If you are unsure if a request you started has been completed or not, you can go to your “Home” page in GlobalHome and view which forms in GlobalHome are “In Progress.”
How do I know if my report has been submitted? You will receive an email confirming that you have succeeded in submitting the entire reporting group (please note, this confirmation email is different from the email you receive noting you have BEGUN the reporting group). You can also check in your list of requests on the GlobalHome homepage to see if STEM Extension Reporting is listed as “Submitted” with a green check mark.
I’m having issues with submitting my report. Who should I contact? Please email email@example.com with your NCSU student ID number and a description of your issue. If you can, please take screenshots of any error messages you receive and include them in the email as this is very helpful in figuring out a solution. Please do not call the OIS front desk or come to virtual advising with issues as they will direct you to email the addresses listed above.