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STEM Extension of OPT

Overview

You can complete the STEM OPT Extension Request and review more detailed information in the Request Center of the ISSS Portal.

This request is for qualified students in a valid period of post-completion OPT who wish to request an additional 24 months of OPT authorization. Students with STEM Designated Degrees should review the eligibility requirements, application process, regulatory considerations, and reporting responsibilities.

Students applying for STEM-OPT Extension must be employed by a U.S. company that is a member of  E-Verify.

Eligibility Requirements:

  • Successfully completed a bachelor's, master's, or doctoral degree within a field of STEM Designated Degrees. Your major CIP code, located on your I-20 next to your major, must be on the list of approved STEM OPT Extension majors. You can view the list here.
  • Currently be within 90 days of their Post-Completions OPT end date. USCIS must receive your STEM OPT application prior to your current OPT end date.
  • Have not exceeded 90 days of unemployment while on Post-Completion OPT.  
  • Currently working full-time for a US employer that is a member of E-Verify within a career field that is directly related to your earned degree.
  • Receive an I-20 from ISSS recommending STEM-OPT Extension prior to submitting your application to USCIS. You must request the I-20 a minimum of 5 business days prior to your OPT end date.
  • NOTE: If you currently do not have an employer, you can apply for STEM with an offer from an E-Verified employer that would begin on the first day after your current OPT ends.

STEM OPT Employer Update

You can submit a STEM OPT Employer Update through the Request Center in the ISSS Portal.

This request is for international students who need to update their OPT Employer Information or submit their I-983 Evaluation. Any changes to your employment should be reported within 10 days to ISSS. All STEM OPT employers must be part of E-Verify. You cannot work for an employer that is not part of E-Verify while on STEM-OPT, as this is a direct violation of your F-1 status.??

STEM Validation Report Submission

You can submit a STEM OPT Validation Report and review the Validation Report Tutorial through the Request Center in the ISSS Portal.

Failure to report every 6 months may result in the TERMINATION of your status.