Do you currently hold a 17-month STEM OPT extension? August 8th is the deadline to apply to add 7 months, for those seeking the new 24-month STEM OPT extension!
On March 11, 2016, the Department of Homeland Security published a final rule allowing certain F-1 students who receive science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) degrees, and who meet other specified requirements, to apply for a 24-month extension of their post-completion OPT. The 24-month extension will replace the 17-month STEM OPT extension previously available to STEM students.
USCIS has published the following alert to remind stakeholders of this deadline:
If you currently have a 17-month STEM OPT extension, you may apply to add 7 months to your STEM OPT period. If you want to apply for this 7-month extension, you must properly file your Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization (with the required fee and signature) on or before August 8, 2016. USCIS will deny applications filed after August 8, 2016. You may apply to add 7 months to your 17-month STEM OPT period if:
- You are currently participating in STEM OPT based on a 17-month extension;
- You request the additional 7-month period by filing a new Form I-765 between May 10, 2016 and August 8, 2016, and within 60 days of the date your designated school official’s enters the recommendation for the 24-month OPT extension into your SEVIS record;
- You have at least 150 days of valid employment authorization remaining on your 17-month STEM OPT period on the date you properly file your new Form I-765; and
- You, your designated school official, and your employer meet all the 24-month STEM OPT extension requirements.
For more information on the STEM OPT extension, visit our Optional Practical Training Extension for STEM Students (STEM OPT) page.