F-1 OPT STEM Extension

OPT -- STEM Extension
F-1 students who completed a bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degree in a STEM field (STEM = Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) and are currently engaged in post-completion OPT may apply for the STEM extension if they have a job or job offer from an E-Verify employer.

A nonimmigrant is eligible for a STEM Extension if the student:

  • Has a degree in science, technology, engineering or mathematics.  
  • Has an employer that is registered and in good standing with the E-verify employment verification system.
  • Degrees included in the current list of eligible STEM degrees are:
    • Actuarial Science (MSFE)
    • Computer Science
    • Engineering
    • Engineering Technologies
    • Biological and Biomedical Sciences
    • Mathematics and Statistics
    • Military Technologies
    • Physical Sciences
    • Science Technologies
    • Medical Scientist
  • Has a bachelor’s, master’s, or doctorate degree.
  • Currently in an approved post-completion OPT period based on a designated STEM degree.  
  • Applies on time (i.e., before the current post-completion OPT expires).

Procedures to Apply:
Schedule an appointment with an International Student and Scholar Services Advisor and bring the following:

  • Copy of diploma and/or transcripts to certify degree
  • Provide current employment information – including address of employer, job title and name of supervisor
  • Provide current email contact info for self
  • Completed I-765, 2 passport size photos (must be taken in the past 30 days)
  • Check or money order for $380.00 made out to U.S. Department of Homeland Security
  • Current EAD Card
  • Passport, Visa, I-94
  • Submit to USCIS Service Center (must be submitted within 30 days of new I-20 being issued)

Maintaining Status on STEM Extension:

  • While the request for an extension is pending, the new rule automatically extends EADs for 180 days.
  • Denials of the STEM extension cannot be appealed.
  • Must report information to DSO every 6 months
  • Employment authorization period for the 17-month extension begins on the day after the expiration of the initial post-completion OPT employment authorization, and ends 17 months later, regardless of the date of the actual extension is approved.
  • Students granted a 17-month OPT extension may not accrue an aggregate of more than 120 days of unemployment during the total 29-month OPT period.
  • For more information please visit the USCIS website at http://www.uscis.gov/portal/site/uscis

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