Eligible F-1 students who have completed a designated STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) degree may be eligible to apply for a 24-month STEM OPT Extension. For a list of designated STEM degrees, please click here.
To be eligible for the 24-month STEM OPT Extension, students:
Note: A student may participate twice in the STEM OPT Extension in their lifetime.
The Application Procedures for the STEM program are the same as the Post-Completion OPT, but with three additional requirements:
If applying based off of a previous STEM degree (in addition to the requirements above):
Make sure to report all of your OPT employment information through the SEVP Portal.
Every 6 months: (through the SEVP Portal)
First self-evaluation is due 12 months after the STEM OPT Extension start date
Final self-evaluation is due at the end of the STEM OPT Extension period
If a STEM OPT student believes that their employer is not complying with the terms and conditions of the 24-month STEM OPT Extension regulations, the Form I-983 instructions, and the completed Form I-983 on file with their Designated School Official, the student may:
F-1 students with an authorized 24-month STEM OPT Extension will have an additional 60 days (including weekends and holidays) of allowed unemployment time for a total of 150 calendar days during their 36-month (12 months initial + 24 months STEM) OPT period.