- If you move, you must update your residential address within 10 days with the Office of Global Services or on the Student and Exchange Visitor Program Portal
- If you change employers while on STEM, you must update your employer name and address within 10 days
- NOTE: If you change employers, you and your new employer will need to complete a new I-983 and submit it to the Office of Global Services. (You also must submit the “Final Evaluation on Student Progress” section of the I-983 for your previous STEM employer)
- You and your employer(s) must report any I-983 Updates to the Office of Global Services; updates are required for the following:
- Any change in your Employer Identification Number
- Any reduction in your compensation that is not tied to a reduction in hours worked
- Any significant decrease in your work hours per week
- Loss of employment (within 5 business days of termination of employment)
- The following updates are mandatory to report for all students while on STEM:
- 6 month validation – You are required to confirm to the Office of Global Services every 6 months the validity of the following information (regardless if there is a change or not): legal name, residential address, employer name and address, status of current employment
- Evaluation on Student Progress (I-983) – You must submit “Evaluation on Student Progress” after you have completed 12 months of STEM employment. NOTE: Even if you have not completed 12 months with one employer you must still submit the 12-month evaluation at the 12-month mark
- Final Evaluation on Student Progress (I-983) – You must complete “Final Evaluation on Student Progress” for the following:
- At the end of the 24-month STEM period
- If you leave an employer at any time during the 24-month STEM period
NOTE: If you have more than one employer while on STEM, you will need to complete this for each employer.
Changing employers during STEM OPT
Students on STEM Optional Practical Training (OPT) are allowed to change employers but every employer they work for while on STEM Optional Practical Training must be enrolled in E-Verify.
When a student leaves his/her 24-month STEM Optional Practical Training employer, the student is required to provide his/her Final Evaluation on Student Progress (I-983). When a student starts working with a new employer, he/she must submit a new Form I-983 for the new employer.
Pending application with USCIS
A student who has a pending STEM Optional Practical Training application can change employers, but the new employer must also be an E-Verify Employer. The student must report the change of employer to the USCIS by doing the following:
- Submit the STEM Extension I-20 Request to the Office of Global Services.
- Send the following documents to the USCIS (to the address on the STEM Optional Practical Training application receipt notice, NOT to the lock-box address where the original application was mailed):
- New Form I-765 (with new employer information)
- Cover letter explaining why you are submitting new I-765 (change of employer) and referencing your pending case #
- Copy of USA Citizenship and Immigration Services receipt notice
- Copy of new STEM Optional Practical Training I-20 (with updated employer information)
When your STEM application is already approved
If a student changes his/her employer after the STEM Optional Practical Training extension is approved, there is no need to notify the USA Citizenship and Immigration Services about the change. The student needs to submit the update via Employer Update Form. You and your previous employer will need to complete the “Final Evaluation on Student Progress” on Form I-983. You and your current employer will need to complete a new Form I-983.
Unemployment during 24-month STEM OPT
Students are permitted an additional 60 days of unemployment under the STEM Optional Practical Training (OPT) period, in addition to the current 90 days of unemployment allowed during the 12-month Post-Completion Optional Practical Training period; up to 150 days of total unemployment. Students on STEM Optional Practical Training are able to use unused unemployment days from their standard post Optional Practical Training period during STEM.
Additional information that must be reported to the Office of Global Services:
- A decision to discontinue STEM Optional Practical Training and depart the USA—Submit the Request to Complete Optional Practical Training & Student and Exchange Visitor Information System Record along with a copy of a flight itinerary indicating you have/will depart the USA
- Change of status to a status other than F-1
- A decision to begin a new program of study at Northeastern or transfer to another school in the USA
Student and Exchange Visitor Program Portal
As of March 23, 2018, the Student and Exchange Visitor Program Portal will be an available tool for F-1 students on Post-Completion and STEM Optional Practical Training to report their contact information as well as their employer information directly to the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System. Students can see their information in the portal as it is reported in the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System and can update it as needed. Students will be able to make changes to their address, telephone number, and employer information.*
*Students on STEM Optional Practical Training will not be able to update their employer or their employment start date because they have to submit Form I-983 with this information.
To learn more, visit the Student and Exchange Visitor Program Portal website.