STEM OPT Extension
The STEM OPT extension is a 24-month period of temporary training that directly relates to an F-1 student's program of study in an approved STEM field, including Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. Some fields in Social Science have been added. Eligible F-1 students with STEM degree who finish their program of study and participate in an initial 12-month Post-Completion OPT have the option to apply for a STEM OPT extension.
Master of Arts in Industrial & Organizational Psychology with CIP Code 42.2804 now is eligible for STEM OPT Extension.
To qualify for the 24-month STEM OPT extension, an F-1 student participating in an initial 12-month Post-Completion OPT must:
- The job is with an employer enrolled in the USICS E-Very program with an E-Very Number.
When to Apply
USCIS must RECEIPT your STEM OPT extension application BEFORE your current 12-month OPT EAD card expiration date – not only receive your application, but you must be receipted by the OPT End Date.
It can take USCIS 3-5 months to adjudicate your application, please start early to prepare the paperwork and coordination with your employer, so your DSO can recommend in SEVIS and issue you the STEM OPT I-20 on the 90th day prior to your current OPT End Date. Please take into consideration:
How to Apply
In order to better grasp with the complicated requirement and process, you are required to attend the STEM OPT Extension Workshop.
Step 1: Request STEM OPT Recommendation from IPS Send the following to your DSO for review:
- I-20 from your previous school showing approved post-completion OPT, or - Verification of Degree Form filled out by your previous school's international office Step 2: Collect Required Documents to Apply Online with USCIS When you are waiting for your DSO's recommendation and the STEM OPT Recommended I-20, you should have all the following ready, so you can apply online immediately once you receive your I-20:
Step 3: Make an Appointment with DSO to Review Entries Prior to Pay This is to ensure accuracy and avoid any possible complications for your STEM OPT Application.
- Caller ID will be 202-838-2200; Please pick up.
- Officer should have all your personal information, so do not give SSN info or other sensitive info on the phone.
Unemployment, Travel, and Grace Period
Requirement for Students
- Employer name or address change - Employment status change
Report the information below every 6-months, and within 10 days of the due date, even nothing is changed: - Student Name - Student's email address and telephone number - Student's home address - Name of Student's employer – organization - Student's job title - Employer's address - Supervisor's phone number and email address
Requirement for Employers and Students
If Student leaves training earlier than any of the deadlines, employer must complete the evaluation prior to leaving the position.