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STEM - Eligibility and Creating an Account

Creating an account and assessing eligibility

Last updated on February 16, 2022

Intake and Creating an Account

There are two versions of the STEM OPT Assistant. One is initiated by the student and is to be used once. The other is initiated by the employer and can be used for multiple students. For whichever party initiates the Assistant, the first step is to complete a brief intake survey that will collect some basic information that will help us set up your account.

You will be asked whether you are a student or employer. You will then be asked for some basic information such as your name, contact information, and information about the potential employer. Employers will have the option to add department / office sub-accounts during the intake. These can also be added later.

If you are a student, you will need to provide your SEVIS identification number as well as your employer's employer identification number (EIN) for this step. If you are an employer, you will need your EIN.

After completing the intake, you will be prompted to create a [portal account] via a button at the end of the intake or a link provided by e-mail.


Student Eligibility

The student will answer a series of questions related to his/her qualifying STEM degree, the school where the qualifying degree was received, and the school that will be recommending the STEM OPT extension.

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After completing the eligibility questionnaire, the student will be deemed either Eligible or Not Eligible. An accompanying eligibility report will provide explanations for these results. Both the eligibility status and report will be available to both the student and employer via e-mail and the portal. Once both student and employer have been deemed eligible, both parties will move on to the training plan questions.


Employer Eligibility

Depending on the version of the STEM OPT Assistant being used, the employer will either launch the eligibility app from the card at the top of the portal

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OR select the student of interest and launch the app from the drop down menu associated with the Info Tracker Table.

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Checking Employer Eligibility

The employer will be asked a series of questions related to the job opportunity. These questions address topics such as participation in E-Verify, the number of hours the student will work, and whether the job conditions are commensurate with those of similarly situated U.S. employees.

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The results of the eligibility analysis, including an eligibility report, will be available to both the employer and student. The results will be available at the end of the app, via e-mail, and in the client portal.

The possible outcomes of the employer eligibility analysis are "Eligible", "Maybe Eligible", and "Not Eligible". If the employer / job opportunity is deemed eligible or maybe eligible, the STEM OPT Assistant can proceed.

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If you receive the result of "Maybe Eligible", the issues causing uncertainty will be highlighted. You will want to make sure you understand these issues and possibly consult with an immigration attorney.

If you receive the result of "Not Eligible", the issues causing this result will be noted, including in the eligibility report. If you address these issues, you may rerun the employer eligibility app.