OPT STEM Extension Timeline
The OPT STEM Extension application must be submitted to USCIS no later than your OPT end date AND within 30 days of your recommendation for the OPT Stem Extension in SEVIS (date on your new OPT STEM I-20).
You may SUBMIT your OPT application NO EARLIER THAN 90 DAYS BEFORE your OPT end date.
Ready to Apply for the OPT STEM Extension?
- Students should not travel internationally when waiting for their STEM OPT approval. You must have a valid EAD for re-entry to the US.
- Once approved you will receive a new Employment Authorization Document (EAD) in the mail. Please check this for errors. Contact USCIS immediately if something needs to be corrected.
- You may change employers while on STEM OPT as long as your new employer meets the requirements.
- You must work at least 20 hours a week in your field of study while on the OPT extension.
- You may accumulate up to 150 days of unemployment on OPT STEM inclusive of any time used during 12-month OPT.
- You must complete two self-evaluations during the course of your STEM OPT period: the first within 12 months of the STEM OPT start date and a second, concluding evaluation at the end of your STEM OPT period. Evaluations must be signed by both you and your immediate supervisor, and then submitted to Caitlin. If you fail to submit these self-evaluations in a timely manner your SEVIS record will be terminated.
- STEM OPT students must report to Caitlin using the OPT Employment Report every 6 months to confirm address and employer information has not changed. Upon loss or change of employment students must submit the OPT Employment Report within 10 days, so your SEVIS record can be updated.
- If you change your immigration status (i.e. to H-1B, Permanent Resident, L-1). Send a scanned copy of the change of status approval notice to Caitlin.
- If you plan to leave the country and not return, please inform Caitlin so she can complete your SEVIS record.
- If you transfer to another degree program please contact Caitlin. Transfer of a SEVIS record to a new school/program will terminate your OPT. Caitlin can help with the transfer paperwork. Part-time study is allowed while on OPT.