F-1 students approved for standard, post-completion Optional Practical Training who have earned a bachelor's, master's, or doctoral degree in a STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) field that appears on the DHS STEM-Designated Degree Program List can apply to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) for an extension of post-completion OPT.
As of May 10, 2016 the new, 24-month STEM OPT rule replaced the previous, 17-month rule. Eligible students may now apply for a 24-month STEM OPT extension.
I want to apply for the STEM extension
To apply for the 24-month STEM OPT extension, please email ISSS at email@example.com to discuss your eligibility and timeline for applying.
You will need the following materials in order to apply:
Copy of previous Employment Authorization Document (EAD) card(s)
Two passport-size photographs
Check or money order for $410 made payable to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security
To apply for the STEM OPT Extension, you must be employed by an E-Verify employer, be currently on OPT that is based on an approved STEM degree (or have received a qualifying STEM degree at the bachelor's level or higher within the last 10 years from a U.S. institution), and your position while on the STEM OPT must be paid.
STEM OPT Reporting Requirements
Students with a STEM OPT extension must validate their employment with ISSS every 6 months. To do so, please fill out the reporting form.
An annual evaluation is due at the end of each year of the STEM OPT extension. Students must complete and submit the Evaluation of Student Program portion of the I-983 to the ISSS office. The form I-983 can be downloaded here. Please note that for the annual evaluation, students need only to submit page 6 of the form.