Form I-983 and Formal Training Plan
The formal training plan must clearly articulate the STEM OPT student’s learning objectives and affirm the employer’s commitment to helping the student achieve those objectives. To fulfill this requirement, a student and their employer must complete and sign Form I-983 and submit it to the student’s DSO.
Form I-983 is a 5-page PDF document that collects information about the student, employer, and job opportunity. It also collects detailed information about the training plan such as student role, goals and objectives, means of oversight, and means of assessment.
The student, employer's authorized signatory, and the student's supervisor must sign the completed I-983 in intake. The authorized signatory and supervisor may, in some cases, be the same person.
The completed and signed form must then be sent to the DSO of the school recommending the STEM OPT extension. The form must be updated as certain benchmarks are met during the STEM OPT extension.
Form I-983 can be confusing, and it is important to fill it out correctly. The STEM OPT Assistant asks both the student and employer specific questions and generates a draft training plan. After this draft plan is signed, the student runs an app to upload the final version into the client portals. The student then has the option to automatically email the completed I-983 to the DSO.
There are areas in the client portal to upload new I-983 documents if there are material changes and after the benchmark components are completed.
Student Training Plan Questions
After both the student and employer have been deemed eligible for STEM OPT, the STEM OPT collects information needed to complete the I-983 training plan itself. For the student, these questions will focus on information about the student, school, DSO, and degree.
If the employer has already completed the employer training plan questions, the training plan will be available upon completion of this question set. Otherwise, the student will be provided with the training plan via email and portal after the employer completes the training plan questions.
Employer Training Plan Questions
The employer will be asked a series of questions used to generate the training plan itself.
Depending on whether the STEM OPT Assistant is initiated by the student for a single use or by the employer for multiple uses, the employer will run the training plan questions app either from the card at the top of the portal or by selecting the student and running the training plan questions app from the Info Tracker table.
The Assistant will then ask the employer a series of specific questions related to the position, goals, and methods of supervision and evaluation.
Upon completion of this questionnaire, the training plan will be available if the student has already completed the student training plan questions. If the student has not yet completed the student training plan questions s/he will be prompted to do so. The training plan will then be sent to both parties via email and will be available in both the student and employer portal.