Students currently on STEM whose employment authorization expires prior to May 9, 2016 fall under the 17-month STEM extension rules, without exception.
* An F-1 student who has a Form I-765 filed and approved prior to May 10, 2016, will be issued an EAD that is valid for 17 months, even if he or she erroneously requested a 24-month STEM OPT extension.
Visit the Department of Homeland Security: Study in the States - STEM OPT Hub website for up to date information on STEM OPT. Learn more about the following:
- Determining eligibility and extension qualifications
- STEM OPT reporting requirements
- Transition plan overview for STEM OPT
- Step-by-step guide for completing the Training Plan Form I-983
- and more!
Eligibility and Submission Deadline
- Applicant must be working on post-completion OPT.
- Applicant must be working for an E-Verify employer. USCIS has created an online E-Verify Employer Search Tool.
- The primary major CIP code, found on page 3 of the I-20 (old version) or page 2 (new version), must appear on this list of approved codes.
- In some cases a prior degree that is on the list may be used.
- Deadline: USCIS must receive the application no later than the expiration date of the original OPT.
- Once an application is submitted, applicants may work up to 180 days beyond the expiration date of their EAD while the STEM application is pending with USCIS.
USCIS processing times may take two to six months to process STEM OPT applications
New Stem Extension OPT Scenarios
- What if my 12 month post-completion OPT expires before May 10, 2016?
- What if I have a pending STEM application as of May 10, 2016?
- What if I have an approved 17 month STEM Extension? Am I eligible for the 24 month expansion?
- I have 17 months of STEM OPT, do I have to apply for the additional 7 months of STEM OPT under the expansion?
- I received a Request for Evidence (RFE) from USCIS, what do I do?
- Can I apply for STEM based on a previously earned degree?