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OPT STEM Extension

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

Complete and READ the requirements for OPT STEM Extension.

Expand or Collapse all.
  • Detailed Information for I-983

  • New Stem Extension OPT Scenarios