Application Checklist for STEM OPT Extension

Below is a checklist of the items you need to complete your application for an extension of Optional Practical Training (OPT) for a Science, Technology, Engineering or Math (STEM) major field of study.

To apply for a STEM OPT Extension you will need to make an appointment with your ISSO advisor and bring the following documents to your appointment to request an OPT recommendation. During your appointment, your ISSO advisor will evaluate your OPT application materials. If you meet all eligibility requirements, your advisor will issue a new I-20 with an OPT recommendation and provide instructions for you to mail your OPT application directly to USCIS. The ISSO recommendation is a required part of your OPT application.

Before your ISSO Appointment:

1. Meet with your employer to complete the USCIS Form I-983 Training Plan for STEM OPT.

  • This Form must be completed and signed by you and your employer prior to your ISSO appointment, outlining your training plan for STEM OPT employment.
  • Without this completed form, the ISSO cannot recommend STEM OPT.
  • Further information about the Form I-983 can be found here.
  • If you are a BU alumni working at BU, your department must submit the Immigration Processing Request to the ISSO.  After this is reviewed, your Scholar Advisor will provide required details to complete your I-983 and I-765.  This means that you will need to complete this step prior to scheduling an appointment with your Student Advisor.

2. Confirm with your employer:

  • Company name as registered in E-Verify: _________________
  • E-Verify Company Identification Number: _________________

STEM OPT Application Checklist:

1. Student Acknowledgement for STEM OPT – completed and signed.

2. USCIS Form I-983 Training Plan for STEM OPT – completed and signed (see above)

3. USCIS Form I-765 – typed and printed out

  • It is strongly recommended that you fill out the PDF version of the form, then print and sign it.
  • If you choose to complete it by hand, print neatly in BLOCK letters using black ink.
  • Use an address in section three (3) that will be valid for at least four (4) months.
  • Answer questions #13-15 only if you wish to apply for a Social Security Number concurrently with this OPT application.
  • In question #27, enter the correct employment code as follows:
    • (c)(3)(C) – for STEM OPT Extension
  • In question #28, enter information related to your STEM OPT application including:
    • Degree Level, Employer’s Name and Employer’s E-Verify Number

4. USCIS Form G-1145 – typed and printed out

5. (If applicable only) Request for STEM OPT Based on Prior Degree

NOTE: Additional documentation is required for this request. Students requesting STEM OPT based on a prior degree must submit a completed STEM OPT application and supporting documents to be reviewed by ISSO advisor. This type of request requires further evaluation and the STEM OPT recommendation cannot be completed in a same-day appointment.

6. ISSO OPT Processing Fee – Pay your $100 fee online with a credit card and print a copy of your fee payment receipt prior to your appointment. This fee is required before an OPT recommendation can be issued by an ISSO advisor.

7. Personal Check or Money Order for the correct I-765 Filing fee amount, payable to “U.S. Department of Homeland Security.”  You should verify the correct filing fee amount on the USCIS I-765 website.

8. Original immigration documents, including:

  • All original I-20s ever issued to you, including I-20s from other schools
  • Printed I-94 record or original paper I-94 stapled in passport
  • Valid passport with most recent entry stamp
  • All previous Employment Authorization Documents (EADs)

9. Academic documents, including:

  • Official Boston University transcript or diploma showing completion of the degree on which your OPT is based.

Note: For all immigration documents and academic documents:

  • Bring original documents for your OPT appointment for ISSO review.
  • Bring one photocopy of documents to include by mail with your OPT application to USCIS.

10. Two (2) photographs – size 2×2 inches and meeting USCIS/DOS specifications outlined here.