International Student Services

24-Month STEM OPT Extension

Eligibility Criteria

Eligible students currently on 12-Month OPT may qualify to apply for a 24-Month STEM OPT Extension to receive an additional 2 years of employment authorization directly related to their STEM degree program.  For a full list of eligible degrees visit STEM Designated Degree Program List.

  1. Pay the $100 STEM OPT Extension Administrative Fee in your student account (instructions)
  2. Submit the STEM OPT Extension I-20 Request
    1. Attach the I-983 Form to the STEM OPT I-20 Request

Once you have received your STEM OPT I-20, you can apply for the STEM OPT Extension online.

Please note the following timelines: you can submit your I-765 for your STEM OPT extension no earlier than 90 days before your OPT authorization end date. The deadline to submit your I-765 is the final day of your OPT authorization period. Applying outside these dates can result in an automatic denial from USCIS.

Follow the steps below:

  • Create your online USCIS account: https://myaccount.uscis.gov/
  • Gather the following documents:
    1. Digital 2x2 color passport photo with white background.
    2. A scan of your passport photograph page.
    3. A scan copy of your visa.
    4. A scan of the front and back of any previous EAD cards (if applicable)
    5. A digital copy of your I-20 with STEM OPT recommendation.
      1. Must be issued within last 60 days for STEM extension OPT. You MUST consult with OIP to receive a new I-20 before filing for your OPT online.
      2. The I-20 must be signed by an advisor at OIP and by you.
    6. Your most recent form I-94
      1. https://i94.cbp.dhs.gov/I94/#/home
      2. Select “Get Most Recent Form I-94” .
    7. Your diploma showing proof of the STEM eligible degree.
  • A credit card with which you can pay the filing fee.
  • File a form online
    1. Application for Employment Authorization (I-765)
    2. Select (c) (3) (c)

  • During the post-completion OPT period of authorization, the following information must be reported within 10 days of the change using your SEVP portal: Your residential address Your phone and email address Employer's name Employer's address Job Title(s) Explanation of how your job(s) relates to your major area of study Start and/or end dates of employment Any periods of unemployment You are required to update this information within 10 days of any changes. Keep a receipt copy of the web site each time you report a change.

  • The company that is the named employer on the I-983 training plan submitted by the student applying for STEM OPT extension to their international advisor/DSO must attest to there being a "bona fide employer-employee relationship" between itself and the student, meaning the student's training must take place at a location where their named employer has "sufficient resources and trained or supervisory personnel" on-site to provide their training;
  • The named supervisor on the student's I-983 cannot be an employee of a client company; they must either be an employee or contractor of the same company on the student's I-983 to ensure that the student's learning-based work experiences are conducted through a company utilizing its own resources and employees. 
  • For complete details, see the USCIS page on Employer Participation Terms and Conditions