1. Introduction
    • Importance of the I-983 Form
    • Who Needs to Complete the Form
  2. Understanding the I-983 Form
    • What is the I-983 Form?
    • Purpose of the I-983 Form
  3. Eligibility for the I-983 Form
    • Who Can Use the I-983 Form?
    • Key Requirements and Conditions
  4. Steps to Download the I-983 Form
    • Where to Find the I-983 Form
    • Step-by-Step Download Instructions
  5. Filling Out the I-983 Form
    • Section-by-Section Guide
    • Common Mistakes to Avoid
  6. Section 1: Student Information
    • Details to Include
    • Tips for Accurate Completion
  7. Section 2: Student Certification
    • Understanding the Certification Requirements
    • Ensuring Compliance
  8. Section 3: Employer Information
    • Information Employers Need to Provide
    • Importance of Accurate Employer Data
  9. Section 4: Training Plan
    • Crafting a Solid Training Plan
    • Examples of Effective Training Plans
  10. Section 5: Employer Official Certification
    • What Employers Need to Certify
    • Legal Implications of the Certification
  11. Submitting the I-983 Form
    • How to Submit the Form
    • Follow-Up Actions After Submission
  12. Conclusion
    • Recap of Key Points
    • Final Tips for Success
  13. FAQs
    • What happens if I make a mistake on the I-983 form?
    • Can I resubmit the I-983 form if it’s rejected?
    • How long does it take to process the I-983 form?
    • Do I need a lawyer to help with the I-983 form?
    • What should I do if my employer is unfamiliar with the I-983 form?

How to Download and Complete the I-983 Form: A Comprehensive Guide


Introduction

If you are an international student on an F-1 visa aiming to engage in the STEM Optional Practical Training (OPT) extension, understanding the I-983 form is crucial. This form is a part of the requirement for the 24-month STEM OPT extension, and it serves as a training plan for the student’s practical experience. In this guide, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know about downloading, filling out, and submitting the I-983 form.


Understanding the I-983 Form

What is the I-983 Form?

The I-983 form, also known as the “Training Plan for STEM OPT Students,” is a document mandated by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). It outlines the details of the training program that an F-1 student will undergo during their STEM OPT extension period.

Purpose of the I-983 Form

The primary goal of the I-983 form is to ensure that the practical training experience is directly related to the student’s major area of study. It also ensures that the employer and the student are committed to adhering to the planned training program, which includes learning objectives and progress evaluations.


Eligibility for the I-983 Form

Who Can Use the I-983 Form?

The I-983 form is intended for F-1 visa students who have earned a degree in a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, or Mathematics) field from a U.S. institution and are seeking a 24-month extension of their post-completion OPT.

Key Requirements and Conditions

To be eligible, students must:

  • Have a job offer from an employer enrolled in the E-Verify program.
  • Work at least 20 hours per week.
  • Ensure that the job is directly related to their STEM degree.

Steps to Download the I-983 Form

Where to Find the I-983 Form

The I-983 form can be downloaded from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Study in the States website.

Step-by-Step Download Instructions

  1. Visit the Study in the States website.
  2. Navigate to the STEM OPT Hub section.
  3. Locate the I-983 form link and click to download the PDF version.
  4. Save the form to your computer for completion.

Filling Out the I-983 Form

Section-by-Section Guide

Filling out the I-983 form involves several sections, each requiring specific information. Here’s a detailed look at each section:

Common Mistakes to Avoid

  • Double-check all personal information for accuracy.
  • Ensure that the training plan is comprehensive and aligns with your field of study.
  • Avoid leaving any sections incomplete.

Section 1: Student Information

Details to Include

This section requires basic personal information such as your name, date of birth, and SEVIS number. Ensure all details match your official documents.

Tips for Accurate Completion

Double-check spelling and numerical entries to prevent any mismatches with your official records.


Section 2: Student Certification

Understanding the Certification Requirements

In this section, you will certify that the information provided is true and accurate. This includes affirming your understanding of the training plan and your commitment to the outlined objectives.

Ensuring Compliance

Read the certification statements carefully and ensure that you meet all the requirements before signing.


Section 3: Employer Information

Information Employers Need to Provide

Employers must provide their name, address, and Employer Identification Number (EIN). They will also need to specify the start and end dates of the training program.

Importance of Accurate Employer Data

Accurate employer data is critical for verifying the legitimacy of the training program and ensuring compliance with ICE regulations.


Section 4: Training Plan

Crafting a Solid Training Plan

This is the core of the I-983 form. It requires detailed descriptions of the training program, including learning objectives, methods of supervision, and measures of progress.

Examples of Effective Training Plans

Provide clear, measurable goals and describe specific tasks and responsibilities that will help achieve these objectives. For example, a software engineering training plan might include specific projects or coding languages to be learned.


Section 5: Employer Official Certification

What Employers Need to Certify

Employers must certify that they have the resources and personnel to provide the specified training and that the student will not replace a full-time or part-time U.S. worker.

Legal Implications of the Certification

Employers should understand that certifying false information can lead to legal penalties. This section underscores the importance of honesty and accuracy.


Submitting the I-983 Form

How to Submit the Form

Once completed, the I-983 form should be submitted to the Designated School Official (DSO) at your institution for review. The DSO will then include it in your SEVIS record.

Follow-Up Actions After Submission

After submission, monitor your email and SEVIS portal for any updates or requests for additional information. It’s important to stay proactive in case any issues arise.


Conclusion

Completing the I-983 form is a detailed process that requires careful attention to detail. By following this guide, you can ensure that you meet all the requirements and submit a thorough and accurate form. Remember, this form is not just a bureaucratic hurdle but a valuable plan that outlines your professional development during the STEM OPT period.


FAQs

What happens if I make a mistake on the I-983 form?

If you realize a mistake after submission, contact your DSO immediately. They can guide you on how to correct and resubmit the form.

Can I resubmit the I-983 form if it’s rejected?

Yes, you can resubmit the form if it’s rejected. Address the issues outlined in the rejection notice and ensure all information is accurate before resubmission.

How long does it take to process the I-983 form?

Processing times can vary, but typically it takes a few weeks. Keep in touch with your DSO for updates.

Do I need a lawyer to help with the I-983 form?

While it’s not mandatory to have a lawyer, consulting with one or your institution’s international office can be beneficial if you have complex questions or need detailed guidance.

What should I do if my employer is unfamiliar with the I-983 form?

Provide them with resources from the Study in the States website and encourage them to read through the employer section. You can also facilitate a discussion with your DSO to clarify any doubts.