24-Month STEM OPT Extension

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) published a rule to allow students who have completed a degree in certain Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) majors to apply to USDHS to extend F-1 Optional Practical Training (OPT). You must meet all of the requirements below to be eligible to apply for a 24-month STEM OPT extension:

  • You must have completed a degree in a STEM major field on the DHS list of STEM majors based on Classification of Instructional Program (CIP) code:
  • You must be working on an approved period of post-completion OPT in valid F-1 status with an active SEVIS record
  • You may not have accrued more than 90 days of unemployment during your initial OPT
  • You must be working for a U.S. employer in a job directly related to your STEM major area of study
  • Your current or prospective employer must be registered with the DHS E-Verify employment verification system
  • Your employment must be paid with terms commensurate with your degree level and be for a minimum of 20 hours per week
  • You and your employer must complete a Form I-983 Training Plan for STEM OPT Students. Your employer must agree to the employment-related attestations, possible USCIS site visits and all other requirements in DHS STEM OPT regulations as specified on the Form I-983

How can I initiate my STEM OPT application?

  1. Watch the instructional video below
  2. Prepare all of the documentation on the STEM OPT Application Package
  3. Schedule a STEM OPT appointment with your ISSO advisor to review the forms and request a new I-20
  4. Apply to USCIS for an extension of your OPT

How do I apply for STEM OPT? See the following STEM OPT Application Video:

For further information, visit the following US Department of Homeland Security sites: