STEM Extension

Students who hold degrees in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) may be eligible to apply for an additional 24 months of Optional Practical Training (OPT), for a total of 36 months of OPT.  Please check the STEM Designated Degree Program List to determine if you are eligible to apply for an extension.  You must also be working for an E-Verify employer.

An OPT STEM extension application MUST be received by USCIS before your current OPT ends.  It is recommended that you mail your application to USCIS 90 days prior to your OPT end date.

It might be possible to apply for a STEM extension based on a prior U.S. degree.  The prior degree must have been issued in within the past 10 years from an accredited and SEVP-certified school.  Please contact OISS to find out if you are eligible.

How to Apply

STEP 1

Complete and submit OISS’s OPT STEM Extension Request eForm.

  • Login to eOISS
    • Under the F-1 Practical Training heading, choose “OPT STEM Extension Request”
  • When completing your eForm, you will need to upload:

After submitting the required eForm, an OISS Advisor will review your extension request and issue a new Form I-20, if applicable.

STEP 2

Submit a complete application to the USCIS up to 90 days before your OPT expiration date. An application includes:

  • Completed Form G-1145
  • Completed Form I-765
  • 2 passport style photographs (with your SEVIS Number written lightly in pencil on the back)
  • Personal Check, Money Order, or Certified Bank Check for filing fee made out to the "U.S. Department of Homeland Security".  Check the current filing fee.
  • Copy of new Form I-20 with OISS Advisor's recommendation for STEM OPT extension
  • Copies of ALL previously issued I-20s (front and back)
  • Copies of certain passport pages: photo, date of birth, date of passport's issue and expiration, most recent F-1 visa stamp
  • Copy of most recent I-94 record
  • Copy of previous EAD (front and back)
  • Proof of graduation (diploma or transcript showing degree conferred) 

Mail your application to:

For Priority Mail deliveries
USCIS
PO Box 660867
Dallas TX 75266

For Express Mail and Courier deliveries
USCIS
Attn: AOS
2501 S. State Hwy 121 Business
Lewisville TX 75067

Responsibilities While on STEM Extension

A student must:

  • Work in a paid position for an E-Verify employer at least 20 hours per week
  • Work in a position related to his/her STEM major
  • Not have more than 150 days of unemployment time during the entire period of post-completion OPT (12-month OPT and 24-month extension combined)
  • Not be self-employed

Reporting Requirements While on STEM Extension

  • Report any changes to the Form I-983 on file within 10 days
  • Report if his/her employer is not abiding by the terms of the Form I-983
  • Every six months you must confirm your employer and local  living address information
    • Login to eOISS and complete OISS's online OPT STEM 6 Month Reporting eForm
  • Within 10 days of accepting a new job offer:
    • Login to eOISS and complete OISS's online OPT STEM Employment Update Form
  • Submit a fully completed self-evaluation (on Form I-983) at the end of the first and second twelve month periods of the STEM extension
    • Login to eOISS and complete OISS's online OPT STEM Evaluation eForm