Clemson University F-1 visa holders on OPT are required to report address and employment updates within 10 days of any change during Optional Practical Training.
In order to maintain your legal F-1 status, you must regularly check in with International Services throughout the duration of the STEM extension to validate Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) information and report changes made to your training plan listed in the I-983 Form. All changes, updates, validations can be made by submitting the 24 Month STEM OPT Employment Update e-form.
After the start of their STEM extension, students must validate their employer and contact information every six months from the start of the STEM extension authorization. Even if the student has reported a change within the 6 month period, students are still required and expected to validate their information via the 24 Month STEM OPT Employment Update e-form.
There are two evaluations to complete while on the OPT STEM Extension: 1. Evaluation on Student Progress and 2. Final Evaluation on Student Progress.
The first evaluation is to be completed after one year on the STEM extension. Students are expected to submit their evaluation, validate their employer information, and upload a receipt of the second OPT Fee installment of $200 to International Services via the 24 Month STEM OPT Employment Update e-form in order to meet this reporting requirement.
The second and final evaluation is to be completed at the end of your employment or at the end of your second year while on the STEM extension. Students are expected to submit their evaluation and validate their employer information to International Services via the 24 Month STEM OPT Employment Update e-form in order to meet this reporting requirement.
Students must report any material changes to, or material deviations from, the student's formal training plan to International Services within 10 days of the change. Students should complete the I-983 form with the new training plan, obtain the signatures from their employer, and submit to IS via the 24 Month STEM OPT Employment Update e-form.
When a STEM OPT student changes employers while on the STEM extension, the student should ensure that the position and employer meet the requirements of the STEM extension program as outlined above.
Prior to leaving the employer, the student should complete a final evaluation with their supervisor reflective of the time they were employed. You will be asked to upload this evaluation along with your new I-983 form with the new employer when reporting your employment change via the 24 Month STEM OPT Employment Update e-form within 10 days of starting the new employment.
*Note, it is risky to change employers while your STEM extension is pending. We would not advise that you change employers while the STEM extension is pending. If you still wish to change employers while the STEM request is pending, please complete the following steps:
- Submit your 24 Month STEM OPT Employment Update e-form within the iStart Student portal with your updated employment information.
- Once our office has reviewed the update and processed the information within the system, we will print a new I-20 Form for you with the updated employer’s information.
- You will need to send a letter to USCIS explaining the reason for the update to your application along with a copy of the new I-20 Form. Your letter should include your receipt number so that USCIS can match the new documentation with your currently pending case
STEM OPT students must report the termination of their practical training experience within 10 days of the event regardless of whether or not new employment has been obtained.
Federal regulations limit unemployment while on Optional Practical Training. Students who are granted a 24-month STEM OPT extension are allowed an additional 60 days of unemployment beyond the initial post-completion OPT limit. This means that students who receive an approved 24-month STEM OPT extension will receive a total of 150 days of allowable unemployment, 90 days during the initial period of post-completion OPT plus an additional 60 days during the extension period. If you have exceeded the allowed unemployment days you must depart the U.S. immediately or face penalties for visa overstay. Students who have accrued more than 90 days of unemployment during post completion OPT or more than 120 days of unemployment during STEM extension OPT period are considered out of F-1 status and their SEVIS record will automatically terminate.
It is important students understand their new reporting requirements as failure to do can result in ineligibility for future benefits or termination of status. If you have any questions related to the new reporting requirements, please contact our office and we will be happy to assist you.