STEM OPT Extension
Students in F-1 status that are in a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, or Math) field that are currently on Post-Completion OPT may be eligible for an extension. If you would like to apply for the STEM OPT Extension, please refer to the following information and contact your advisor at ISSS before proceeding with your application.
Who is eligible for the 24-Month STEM Extension?
- Obtained a bachelor’s, master’s, or Ph.D degree in a STEM field from an accredited and SEVP certified U.S. school within 10 years of extension application. There is a new expanded list of STEM eligible CIP codes. The CIP Code is listed on the I-20 form under the section Student’s Program of Study.
- Currently on Post-Completion OPT.
- Have fewer than 90 days of unemployment while on Post-completion OPT.
- Employer is registered with 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.
- Volunteering and self-employment will not qualify under the new STEM rule.
- There is a lifetime limit of two periods of 24-month STEM OPT; each occurring after a higher degree level has been obtained. A STEM degree obtained at a U.S. university prior to your current degree may be the basis for a STEM extension under certain circumstances.
How do I apply for the 24-Month STEM Extension?
- Applications can be filed up to 90 days prior to the end of the current Post-Completion OPT. USCIS must receive the application before the current OPT expires.
- The 24-Month STEM Extension begins on the day after the expiration of the Post-Completion OPT. If the 24-Month Extension was filed prior to the end date of the Post-Completion OPT then the student may continue employment while the application is pending until a final decision is made or 180 days have elapsed, whichever comes first.
- $410 application fee.
- 2 passport style photos taken within 30 days of application.
- I-983 training plan completed and signed by employer and student. Please refer to the Students and the Form I-983 page for more information.
- ISSS 24-Month Extension application.
- Completed and signed I-765.
- Copies of previous I-20s with CPT or OPT authorization.
- Copy of any EADs.
- Copy of current I-94, passport and visa page.
Is there anything else that I may need to know?
- Contact ISSS for details about this application process.
- You can read more at the Federal Register Website.
- Other helpful information can be found on the Study in the States website.
How do I complete the I-983 training plan?
- The SEVIS School Code is KAN214F00272000
- DSO Name and Contact Information: Use your international advisor contact information
- Student SEVIS ID number found at the top of your current I-20 form.
- Write the beginning date of STEM OPT as the day after the expiration of EAD and write 24 months after as the date of completion.
- The link to the document with the CIP codes is posted above.
- Page 5 will be completed while on STEM Extension (once after 12 months and the final evaluation toward completion).