STEM Extension


For a list of eligible STEM degrees, please see the list linked above under eligibility. In order to be eligible for the extension, your Primary Major's CIP code must match one appearing on the STEM list.


E-Verify is a database system facilitated by the Department of Homeland Security together with the Social Security Administration. Participating employers are able to electronically verify the employment eligibility of newly-hired employees. Participation in E-Verify is currently voluntary in most states. For more information visit


The start date of the 24-month OPT extension will be automatically set to the day after the expiration of the current 12-month OPT authorization. The end date will be 24 months later. (It is not possible to request smaller increments of time for the OPT extension.)


You may apply within the 90 days before your current EAD expires, but your application must be received by the USCIS before the expiration date. You will be allowed to remain in the US and continue employment for 180 days or until a decision is made on your STEM Extension application.  You must submit your STEM Extension application materials to USCIS no later than 60 days after the I-20 with the OPT STEM recommendation was created.


    • Contact the OISS at least 90-120 days before the expiration of your current OPT authorization period to request assistance and issuance of the STEM Extension I-20.
    • Submit a copy of the Form I-983 which you have prepared together with your employer. (Instructions for completing the form are at this link).
    • Two US Passport-Style Photos, taken within last 30 days (Print your name and I-94 number on the back of each photo)
    • I-765 Application Fee ($410.00). Personal checks with your name and address imprinted upon the check or money orders are payable to “US Department of Homeland Security”. (Do not abbreviate.)
    • Original & Completed Form I-765
      • For “I am applying for” select “Renewal of my permissions to accept employment"
      • For item #3, make sure the address you list on this form will be accurate for at least 90 days as this is where USCIS will send your Receipt Notice, Approval Notice and EAD. This also the address that determines to which address you will send your completed application.
      • In Item #16 write “(c) (3) (C)" 
      • In item #17 include the CIP code and/or your degree as listed on your I-20. Your employer’s name and their E-verification identification number.
    • Photocopy of the qualifying STEM degree transcript and/or diploma (if it states the major)
    • Photocopy of pages 1 and 2 of the new I-20 with the STEM OPT extension recommendation. You must request this new I-20 to be sent to you or you may pick it up from the OISS. 
    • Photocopies of all previous I-20’s (pages 1 and 3 or pages 1 and 2---do not include the page with the list of regulations) 
    • I-94 computer printout or copy of the white I-94 card (front and back) 
    • Photocopy of passport bio page 
    • Photocopy of F-1 visa 
    • Photocopy of all previous EADs


If convenient, you may arrange to meet with the OISS in person to review your application file prior to submission.

Otherwise, please follow the instructions that will be provided to you along with your new STEM EXTENSION endorsed I-20. The file must be mailed within 60 days of the I-20 issuance, and you must include your Form I-765 with fee. You must use the lockbox stipulated for your mailing address. We strongly urge you to use tracking for your packet.


Stem Reporting Requirements

During STEM OPT you will be required complete 3 validations and at least 2 evaluations.

  • Every 6 months starting from the start date on the STEM OPT card (6 months, 12 months, 18 months) you must contact the OISS and confirm the details of your employment.
  • Submit the Self-Evaluation form (signed by student and employer).
    • Due date: 12 months after the start date on the STEM OPT card
  • Submit the Final Evaluation form (signed by student and employer).
    • Due date: 24 months after the start date on the STEM OPT card
  • If changing employers, students are required to submit a final evaluation form within 10 days of the end of employment, and

You must provide the following information each time you report:

  • Confirm that you are working full-time (at least above 20 hours per week) in your STEM field of study
  • Report any changes in employer or employment status (within 10 days of change)
  • Report any substantial changes to duties described in the I-983 (within 10 days of change)
  • Report any changes in address or visa status (within 10 days of change)
  • At 12 and 24 months, provide a self-evaluation and a final evaluation.

You are allowed a total of 150 days of unemployment during your 36-month period of OPT.