F-1 STEM OPT
If you are planning to be employed by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC) during STEM, you should seeking primary advising about STEM from a Designated School Official (DSO) from the institution that issued your Form I-20. F-1 Students from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC) can find more information on the STEM OPT page of the website. For more information about STEM OPT, visit the STEM OPT Hub on the STUDY in the STATES website maintained by the Department of Homeland Security.
Only a DSO from your F-1 sponsor (usually an international student advisor from your home university) can recommend STEM OPT for you. The DSO can only recommend STEM after reviewing your completed Training Plan for STEM OPT Students (Form I-983). If you will be employed by UNC during your STEM extension, use the following procedure to obtain the proper signatures on your Form I-983.
UNC Chapel Hill: Process for Obtaining “Signature of Employer Official with Signatory Authority” on Form I-983 for STEM OPT
Note: Linc Butler, Associate Vice Chancellor for Human Resources has been appointed as the only person authorized to sign Form I-983 on behalf of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Procedure for Certifying Form I-983
- STEM OPT student drafts Form I-983 together with the Supervisor. The student must sign the Form I-983.
- Supervisor signs “STEM-OPT Supervisor-Certification for I-983” form attesting to the contents of Form I-983 and forwards the materials to HR Officer.
- HR Officer completes checklist of required elements on “STEM OPT HR Officer Certification for I-983” and “STEM OPT Terms and Conditions Worksheet” and forwards to Linc Butler, Associate Vice Chancellor for Human Resources for signature as “Signature of Employer Official with Signatory Authority.”
- Signed Form I-983 is returned to HR Officer, copied and returned to student for submission to the Designated School Official (DSO) for their F-1 program.
The following contains some of the information about UNC-CH that is needed in order to complete Form I-983:
- Employer Information:
The UNC Employer Name and Street Address:
UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA AT CHAPEL HILL
104 Airport Dr Chapel Hill, NC 27599-5023
- UNC’s Website URL:
- For UNC’s EIN Number, NAICS Code, and number of employees:
Please see the Information Sheet maintained by the Office of Sponsored Research: http://research.unc.edu/offices/sponsored-research/resources/data_res_osr_infosheet/
- Employer Site Information:
Site Name = UNC-CH + DEPARTMENT NAME
Site Address = ADDRESS WHERE STEM WORK WILL ACTUALLY BE PERFORMED ON CAMPUS e.g. Lab address
Name of Official = NAME OF YOUR PI OR SUPERVISOR
Official’s Title = TITLE OF YOUR PI OR SUPERVISOR
Official’s Email = EMAIL ADDRESS OF YOUR PI OR SUPERVISOR
Official’s Phone Number = PHONE NUMBER OF YOUR PI OR SUPERVISOR
- Training Plan For STEM OPT Students:
For a step-by-step guide to completing the Training Plan form, watch the tutorial on the STEM OPT Hub on the STUDY in the STATES website maintained by the Department of Homeland Security. When completing the Training Plan, keep in mind that you could be asked to provide copies of it to various Immigration agencies upon request, and it may eventually be uploaded into SEVIS. Ultimately, the international student advisor (DSO) from your home university decide if you’ve complete Form I-983 correctly.
In order to file your STEM extension case with USCIS, you will also need UNC’s name as listed in E-Verify and UNC’s E-Verify number in order to complete the Form I-765 Application for Employment Authorization. You can contact an International Student Advisor in International Student and Scholar Services or an I-9/E-Verify Specialist in the Office of Human Resources to obtain this information.
Once you file your STEM case with USCIS, you should receive a Receipt Notice in the mail from USCIS. If you have already checked in with ISSS you should submit a copy of the Receipt Notice and page 1 and 2 of the new I-20 issued for STEM to ISSS. Together, the I-20 issued to recommend STEM and the Receipt Notice from the STEM filing are evidence of extended work authorization for up to180 days. Once you received your STEM EAD card, you should submit a copy of the front and back to ISSS.
Process for 12 month and 24 month Evaluation on Student Progress on Form I-983
At the 12 and 24 month marks of the STEM employment (or earlier if your employment ends) you should follow the following procedure in order to obtain the “Signature of Employer Official with Signatory Authority” on the Evaluation on Student Progress section of your Form I-983.
- Student completes self-evaluation on Form I-983 with Supervisor.
- Supervisor reviews and submits request for signature to HR Officer.
- HR Officer reviews and submits to Linc Butler, Associate Vice Chancellor for Human Resources for “Signature of Employer Official with Signatory Authority”.
- Form I-983 is returned to student for submission to DSO.
Process for updating Form I-983
Any changes to the conditions of employment must be reported on Form I-983 to the Designated School Official (DSO) listed on Form I-983.
- Supervisor alerts HR Officer of proposed changes by submitting revised I-983 to HR Officer.
- HR Officer reviews and submits Form I-983 to Linc Butler Associate Vice Chancellor for Human Resources for “Signature of Employer Official with Signatory Authority”.
- Form I-983 is returned to STEM OPT student for submission to DSO.