CampusLife

International Student & Scholar Services

Questions?

  • Int'l Student / Scholar Svcs
    202-885-3350
    Fax: 202-885-3354
    Butler Pavilion, Room 410

    Open Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.



    ISSS advisors are available at the front desk for walk-in appointments.

    Bakar, Senem S.
    Director, International Student & Scholar Services

Mailing Address

STEM OPT Extensions and E-Verify Employers


The current 12 month limit on OPT will be extended by 17 months, for a total of 29 months, for certain "STEM" degree holders only.

What are the "STEM" fields?

S = Science
T = Technology
E = Engineering
M = Mathematics

STEM Majors include (link to full list of STEM Designated Degree Programs under Related Links):

  • Actuarial Science
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Engineering
  • Engineering Technologies
  • Biological and Biomedical Sciences
  • Mathematics and Statistics
  • Military Technologies
  • Physical Sciences
  • Science Technologies
  • Medical Scientist (MS, PhD)


To be eligible for 17-Month STEM Extension of OPT, students must:

  • Currently be participating in a 12-month period of approved post-completion OPT;
  • Have successfully completed a degree in science, technology, engineering, or mathematics (STEM) included in the DHS STEM Designated Degree Program List, from a college or university certified by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Student and Exchange Visitor Program;
  • Be working for a U.S. employer in a job directly related to the student’s major area of study;
  • Be working for, or accepted employment with, an employer enrolled in U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services’ E-Verify program. E-Verify is a free, internet-based system operated in partnership with the Social Security Administration that helps employers to determine the employment eligibility of newly-hired employees (see below) and
  • Properly maintain F-1 status.

To apply for 17-Month STEM Extension of OPT, students must:
Submit OPT extension application before the completion of current OPT.

OPT Reporting Responsibilities:
All OPT students are required to report the following information to International Student & Scholar Services isss@american.edu within 10 days:

  • Name Change
  • Address Change residential or mailing address
  • Employer Name & Address
  • Employer Change of Name or Address
  • Start and End Date of Employment

Student must report every six months to International Student & Scholar Services at isss@american.edu to verify the above information.


What Is E-Verify?

E-Verify is an Internet based system operated by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in partnership with the Social Security Administration (SSA) that allows participating employers to electronically verify the employment eligibility of their newly hired employees.  The program is free and voluntary.