UCI International Center

OPT STEM Reporting Requirements

Section 1

OPT STEM students are required to report new employment or changes to employment within 10 days of the change to maintain F-1 status reqporting requirements. Below you will find information about how to to update employment during your OPT STEM period. You will upload all required updates here.

Employment Requirements

  • Employment must be paid.
  • Employment must be over 20 hours per week.
  • Employment must be directly related to your course of study.
  • Must report new employment and changes to employment to the International Center
  • Limitation on Unemployment for the STEM OPT Extension. Students approved for the 24-month STEM OPT extension may not accrue more than a total of 150 days of unemployment throughout their entire 36 months on OPT. Time spent outside the United States, if not employed by a U.S. employer, is counted towards the 150-day period of unemployment. To count as “employed” a student should be able to provide evidence, acquired from the student’s employer, to verify that he or she worked at least 20 hours per week during the period of reported employment.
  • Unemployment Caution: SEVIS records will automatically terminate students who have no employment reported for 150 days. Be sure that you have reported your employment information to the IC. If you have any concerns, you can always contact an International Student Advisor.
  • Non-paid and volunteer work is not permitted on the STEM OPT extension.

Mandatory Reporting Requirements for OPT STEM

The OPT STEM requires you to submit several updates during the 24-month duration to maintain valid F-1 status.

You must upload the updates listed below to the International Center's Student Request Upload Tool.

Timeframe/Changes Required Forms
6-Month Reporting
12-Month Reporting
18-Month Reporting
24-Month Reporting
Changing Employers
  • OPT STEM Employment Update Form
  • I-983 STEM OPT Training Plan with Final Evaluation for ending employment with previous employer
  • New, Completed I-983 STEM OPT Training Plan for new/current employer
Additional Employer
Employment Ended
Departing the U.S. or;
Changing Visa Status
I-983 Changes
  • OPT STEM Employment Update Form (include with updated I-983)
  • Employer name and address
  • Increase or decrease in compensation
  • Change in hour worked
  • Employer's EIN
  • Termination of employment
  • Supervisor Information Change
  • Change in Position/Role

Job Description Examples

In September 2019, SEVP provided further information about the details required for your job descpription. Use the examples below when completed your OPT Employment Update form. Below are examples about how to write this information, if you do not provide this information in a similar format, you may be asked to re‐submit this for SEVIS compliance purposes.

  • "Bachelor's degree in Electrical Engineering: I work full time as an Electrical Engineer at ABC Corp., a government contractor. In my job, I analyze client requirements for electrical systems and provide them with cost estimates of such systems. My work requires understanding of electrical circuit theory, which I studied in‐depth at the University of ABC."
  • "Master's degree in Kinesiology: I am working 25 hours a week in a health food store as a consultant for Self‐Made Inc., designing and teaching exercise classes that are incorporated into a customer's overall nutrition and exercise plan . My designs and customer instruction draw upon my studies and classwork in exercise therapy and physical reconditioning."
  • "PhD in Computer Science: I am employed as a Computer and Information Research Scientist at ABC Research Institute. I work as part of a team of scientists and engineers that designs experiments to test the operation of various software systems. My work builds on research in complex algorithms and machine learning, which I studied as part of my dissertation."

Keep Records of your Employment

Keep records of your employment history for your personal file, to present as evidence of maintaining lawful status should you apply for future immigration benefits.

Examples of records to keep:

  • offer letters
  • contracts
  • payroll stubs
  • letters describing volunteer activity or hours