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STEM OPT Extension

The STEM OPT extension allows students whose degree was STEM (science, technology, engineering, or math) to extend their post-completion 12-month OPT authorization. 



  • Be in F-1 status
  • Be currently on post-completion 12-month OPT
  • Have a bachelor's degree or higher degree in eligible STEM field
    • You can find your degree CIP code in the "Program of Study" section of your I-20
  • You can check if your major is STEM OPT eligible by checking the official list. Please go to this page and find the list. 
  • Have a paid job offer that meets the following requirements:
    • The job is with an employer enrolled in the USCIS E-Verify program. Be sure to check with your employer to determine if they are enrolled in E-Verify. 
    • The job offers at least 20 hours of work per week
      • Unlike 12-month OPT, volunteer/unpaid work or self-employment is not permitted for STEM OPT extension
    • The job will provide formal training and learning objectives directly related to your qualifying STEM degree 


When to Apply

  • USCIS must receive your STEM OPT extension application before your current 12-month OPT EAD card expiration date.
  • Apply as early as 90 days before your current 12-month OPT EAD card expiration date. 
  • Take into consideration:
    • OIE needs up to 10 days to review your application materials

How to Apply

  • USCIS is currently accepting the STEM OPT extension application online. The OIE highly encourage you to submit your application online instead of via mail as the online option is easier to navigate, and you will less likely to make mistakes. 
  • You must request the OIE to review the following materials before you submit your STEM OPT application to USCIS. You can find the detailed instructions on how to fill out each form in the request form (you can start the request form by clicking the button below)
    • Filled I-983 Training Plan
    • Filled I-765
    • 2X2 Passport photo
    • Scanned copy of your passport information page
    • Scanned copy of your F-1 visa (even if it's expired)
    • Your most recent I-94
    • Scanned copy of your current EAD card
    • I-20s with your current OPT and previous OPT/CPT authorization (if any)
    • Filled G-1145 (only if you're mailing your application materials)
    • $410 Filing fee

OIE will not be able to review your materials between 12/17/2021 - 01/31/2022