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STEM OPT Extension

What is a STEM Extension?
 
The STEM OPT extension is a 24-month period of temporary training that directly relates to an F-1 student's program of study in an approved STEM field.
 
The STEM OPT extension is only available to certain F-1 students who receive a qualifying degree in a STEM field at the bachelor’s level or higher from an accredited, SEVP-certified school. Students must be in their initial period of regular post-completion OPT to apply for the extension. The STEM OPT extension also involves additional forms and reporting requirements.
F-1 students granted the STEM OPT extension by USCIS receive an additional 24 months of employment authorization for on-the-job training in their STEM field.

 
Are you eligible for a STEM Extension?
 
Eligible students currently on 12-Month OPT may qualify to apply for a 24-Month STEM OPT Extension to receive an additional 2 years of employment authorization directly related to their STEM degree program.  Detailed information for students and employers can also be found on the DHS webpage Study in the States OPT STEM Hub.
 
Requirements:
• You must be a recipient of a U.S.  Bachelor’s, Master’s or Doctoral degree in a STEM (science, technology, engineering, or math) designated degree program. See this list of STEM Majors (You can check the CIP code listed on your I-20.) You must verify that the CIP code of your major is listed on the US government’s list of Eligible CIP codes for the STEM Extension. If your degree CIP code is not on the list, you are not eligible for the STEM extension.
 
• You are currently authorized for 12-month OPT and have not exceeded 90 days of unemployment.
 
• You can apply based on any previous STEM degree from an SEVP, accredited U.S. institution within the last 10 years.
 
• You are currently employed or have a job offer directly related to your field of study and the employer is registered in the USCIS EVerify system.  You must complete Form I-983 with the employer and all employers must have an EIN number.
 
• Your employer is willing to work with you to fully complete the Form I-983 and abide by all obligations.
 
• You are applying no more than 90 days before your 12-mont OPT expires and no later than the expiration of your 12-month OPT.
 
If you are eligible to apply for the STEM extension, make an appointment to speak with your DSO.  Here are some resources that you can read as well.
https://studyinthestates.dhs.gov/stem-opt-hub
https://studyinthestates.dhs.gov/form-i-983-overview
 
When you are ready to begin your STEM extension application, contact your DSO at isp@wheaton.edu for undergraduates and graduate.student.life@wheaton.edu for graduate students.