24-month STEM OPT Extension

You may qualify for an additional 24 months of OPT under the following circumstances:

  • You are currently participating in a regular period of OPT
  • You received a science, technology, engineering or mathematics (STEM) degree at an undergraduate level or higher and seek a training opportunity related to this degree.
  • You received your qualifying STEM degree from a currently accredited SEVP-certified college or university
  • The employer from which you are seeking employment uses the E-Verify program
  • You and your prospective employer have completed and signed the Form I-983, “Training Plan for STEM OPT Students”
  • For more information about the specific eligibility requirements for the 24-month STEM OPT extension, please visit the STEM OPT Hub on Study in the States.

Once the Office of Immigration Services verifies that your Form I-983 is complete, we will provide you with a new Form I-20 that shows our recommendation for this training opportunity.

You must apply for work authorization by electronically filing a Form I-765 with USCIS and paying a filing fee. USCIS will send you an EAD upon approving your petition.

  • Completed Training Plan I-983.
  • Completed and signed Form I-765
  • Check or money order for $410.00, made payable to “Dept. of Homeland Security” (do not send cash)
  • 2 color, U.S. passport-style photographs (write name, SEVIS ID, and I-94 number on back) – Photos should measure 2 inches by 2 inches
  • Copy of the front and back of your current OPT card
  • Copy of your diploma
  • Copy of your current I-94 record
  • Copy of your Passport identity page(s) and any renewal pages (ex. Entry stamps)
  • Copy of all previous I-20s

You may continue to work on your expired EAD for OPT up to 180 days while your 24-month extension petition is pending if you meet the following conditions:

  • You are currently in a period of post-completion OPT
  • You properly and in a timely manner filed your application for the 24-month extension with USCIS
  • You have reported changes in name, address, employer, and loss of employment to the Office of Immigration Services within 10 days of any change
No the 17-month STEM has been replaced by the 24-month extension.

In order to maintain their legal F-1 status, a STEM OPT student must regularly check in with their DSO throughout the duration of the extension to validate Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) information and report changes made to the student's training plan.

Every six months a student must work with their DSO to confirm that the student's record in SEVIS accurately reflects their current circumstance.

As part of this six-month reporting, STEM OPT students must confirm that their SEVIS information correctly identifies the following:

  • Legal name
  • Residential or mailing address
  • Employer name and address
  • Status of current employment 

Please note that STEM OPT students must report a change in this information, including any loss of employment, within 10 days of the change.

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