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International Student & Scholar Services


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

ISSS office walk-in advising hours: Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays: 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Tuesdays: 12:00 noon - 5:00 p.m.

Bakar, Senem S
Director, International Student & Scholar Services

Int'l Student / Scholar Svcs
4400 Massachusetts Avenue NW
410 Butler Pavilion
Washington, DC, USA 20016-8041

STEM OPT Extensions and E-Verify Employers

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

What are the "STEM" fields?

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

STEM Majors include (full list of STEM Designated Degree Programs)

  • Biology and Biochemistry
  • Computer Science
  • Environmental Science
  • Mathematics and Statistics
  • Physical Sciences
  • Science Technologies

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

  • Be in F-1 status after having completed a degree in science, technology, engineering, or mathematics (STEM) with major indicated on I-20 on the STEM Designated Degree Programs List;
  • Currently be participating in a 12-month period of approved post-completion OPT;
  • Have a job or offer from an E-Verify* employer.

To apply for 17-Month STEM Extension of OPT, students must:
Submit new OPT application with I-20 endorsed by ISSS before end date of current OPT

OPT Reporting Responsibilities:
1. All students on OPT must report any change in employment or address during OPT within 10 days. This means:

  • Legally changing your name
  • Moving
  • Leaving the US and ending OPT early
  • Starting a job
  • Changing employment and/or
  • Ending a position

If any of these changes occur please report required information on the ISSS OPT Employer Information Form.

2. Student must report every six months, via the ISSS OPT Employer Information Form, 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.