STEM Extension of OPT

The STEM Extension of OPT is a benefit to allow students who have earned a degree in a Science, Technology, Engineering, or Mathematics field to extend a period of approved post-completion OPT for 24 months. Students may request a STEM Extension of their 12-month OPT two times in their lifetime; it is not possible to request a STEM Extension of pre-completion OPT, as a separate benefit, or to further extend a STEM Extension. Review the STEM OPT Hub for more information to help school officials, F-1 students, and employers understand the regulations.

You are eligible to apply for the STEM Extension if you meet the following conditions:

  • You are currently in an approved period of post-completion OPT
  • You earned a bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degree in a designated STEM field
  • You are employed by an employer who is registered and in good standing with E-Verify
Student researcher in lab

STEM OPT Tutorial

Please review our online tutorial if you are interested in applying for the OPT STEM extension. The tutorial is a helpful guide and will provide answers to many of your questions!  

Application Procedure

  1. Gather the materials on the STEM OPT Checklist
  2. Submit materials to ISSS for review (See "ISSS Remote Procedure")
  3. Receive I-20 from ISSS with STEM OPT recommendation
  4. Submit application to USCIS