Form I-983
Form I-983 Instructions

On March 11 the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (USDHS) released the final rule pertaining to Optional Practical Training (OPT) for students with degrees in science, technology, engineering or mathematics (STEM extensions). All F-1 students who meet the required criteria are eligible for 12 months of Optional Practical Training. The new final rule pertains to students eligible for the 24 STEM extension beyond the 12 months.

For the convenience of Duke Administrators and Duke students, we have edited the Department of Homeland Security Form I-983 instructions with additional guidance in {brackets} to assist in the completion of this form.

Under the Preamble to the STEM extension final rule [81 FR 13079], please note:

“There are several aspects of the STEM OPT extension that do not make it apt for certain types of arrangements, including multiple employer arrangements, sole proprietorships, employment through ‘‘temp’’ agencies, employment through consulting firm arrangements that provide labor for hire, and other relationships that do not constitute a bona fide employer-employee relationship… Accordingly, DHS clarifies that students cannot qualify for STEM OPT extensions unless they will be bona fide employees of the employer signing the Training Plan, and the employer that signs the Training Plan must be the same entity that employs the student and provides the practical training experience. DHS recognizes that this outcome is a departure from SEVP's April 23, 2010 Policy Guidance (1004-03)."

Duke F-1 students on F-1 Optional Practical Training and employed by Duke University, must submit a completed I-983 to a Duke Visa Services (DVS) advisor in order to qualify for a STEM extension. Please note the department supervisor is the designated employer for the purpose of completing the Form I-983. Duke Visa Services’ role is to confirm that the Duke employment meets the F-1 STEM extension guidelines before a STEM extension request can be recommended for a Duke F-1 student. After the approval of the Form I-983, the DVS advisor will recommend and issue a Form I-20 and assist the student in processing the extension request.

We recommend that the hiring departments also retain a copy of the Form I-983 for their records and for possible USDHS Site Visits.

A F-1 STEM extension request should be submitted to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security at least 120 days before the end date of the current Optional Practical Training. F-1 regulations require that DVS retain a copy of the completed and approved Form I-983 for possible U.S. Department of Homeland Security (USDHS) Site Visits.

F-1 students on F-1 Optional Practical Training who did not graduate from Duke University but are employed by Duke and eligible for a STEM extension, must request a completed Form I-983 from their Duke supervisors and submit this form to their Designated School Officials (DSO). DVS cannot complete this form for these students. The student’s DSO will review the Form I-983 and, if appropriate, issue an I-20 for a STEM extension.

We recommend that the Duke hiring department retain a copy of the Form I-983 for their records and for possible USDHS Site Visits.

The Form I-983 must be completed for:

  1. Any future employees hired by Duke on the F-1 STEM OPT extension.
  2. Any Duke employee seeking the 7-month F-1 STEM OPT extension.
  3. Any Duke employee with a pending F-1 STEM OPT extension request filed before May 10, 2016.

Also review the official overview of the F-1 STEM extension regulation and procedures as provided by the U.S. Department of Citizenship and Immigration Services and detailed information on the Study in the States STEM extension.

If you have any questions, please contact your Designated Duke Visa Services Advisor.