To apply STEM OPT
To be eligible, you must:
STEM Designated Degree Program List
- Pursue their practical training through an employer that is enrolled in USCIS’ E-Verify employment.
- Select employers that can guarantee the student will complete a minimum of 20 hours of work per week and provide the student with formal training and learning objectives.
- Work for employer to complete the Form I-983
Form I-983 Instructions
- Apply for the 24-month OPT extension prior to the expiration of the first 12 months of Post Completion OPT.
- Send application package and be received USCIS prior to the expiration date of the first OPT period EAD in order to be properly (timely) filed
You need to know:
- USCIS allows students to apply for STEM OPT up to 90 days before the current EAD expiration date.
- You cannot apply during the 60 day grace period.
- If you successfully file the application for your 24-month OPT extension prior to the expiration of your current 12-month OPT period EAD, you may continue employment even if your previous EAD card is expired until your OPT extension is processed or until 180 days has passed, whichever is sooner.
- University requires $100 STEM Processing Fee to issue you I-20 for STEM OPT Application
How to apply for STEM OPT
- Must complete the following prior to applying for STEM OPT:
Make a shipping arrangement to received STEM OPT Extension I-20
Eship Global, or
USPS: Email your physical address to Global Center
- Correct all necessary documents:
- 2 Passport size photos taken less than 30 days
- Most recent I-94
- Copy of Passport Information Page(s)
- Copy of F-1 visa
- Copy of the qualifying STEM degree transcript and/or diploma
- Copy of all previous EADs (Front & Back)
- Credit Card, Money Order, or Check
- Credit card: Form G-1450, Authorization for Credit Card Transactions.
- Money Order or Check: $410 Payable to the “U.S. Department of Homeland Security”
- Type or print all responses legibly in black ink.
- Fill out all applicable questions
- If a question does not apply to you, type or print N/A or for numeric responses, none, unless otherwise directed.
Part 1. Reason for Applying
- Select 1.c “Renewal of my permissions to accept employment.
Part 2. Information About You
- 1.a. -1.c. need to match with your passport
- 5.a.-.5. f. 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.
- 5.a. If you will use a reliable friend or family member’s address, please make sure to use the C/O notation.
- 27 type (c) (3) (C)
Part 3. Applicant’s Statement, Contact Information, Declaration, Certification, and Signature
- 7.a. Sign with Black ink within designated space
- Copy of Page 1 & 2 Form I-20 with your signature and STEM Extension
- Form G-1145 (Optional)
E-notification of Application/Petition Acceptance
- Send the STEM OPT Application Package to USCIS:
- Check all documents for completeness and accuracy.
- Be sure to sign forms I-20 and I-765.
- Make a complete copy of your application for your records.
- Keep a copy of your express mail receipt and money order receipt, if applicable.
- Mail completed application to the USCIS office that has jurisdiction over the address based on the state you typed on form I-765 in Part 2