Center for International Services & Programs

STEM OPT

F-1 students who are currently authorized for OPT employment based on completion of a STEM-related Bachelor's, Master's, or Ph.D degree at Cleveland State University may be eligible for an extension of OPT employment.

In order to be eligible for a STEM OPT extension totaling 24-months, CSU students must:

  1. already be approved for OPT in a STEM based field
  2. not have exceeded 90-days of unemployment
  3. be employed by an E-Verify employer
  4. agree to provide additional employment-related information that is now required by federal regulation
  5. be otherwise eligible for STEM OPT extension as per the USCIS

As part of the STEM OPT application process, CSU STEM students must agree to report and/or share the following information within 10 business days to the Cleveland State International Center:

  1. Change of Name
  2. Change in Residential Living Address
  3. Any and all changes in employment status (Note: changes in employment status will require a new Form I-983), including any loss of employment
  4. Changes in the physical location of the Employer (the work site address, for example)

It is very important that students begin discussing Form I-983 requirements with the STEM OPT employer now.

The student and their prospective employer must work together to complete Form I-983 (PDF icon I-983.pdf). Please submit only pages 1-5. Pages 6-7 must be completed at the end of each year of STEM OPT.  The I-983 will kept at CSU and should not be submitted to USICS. 

STEM OPT students and their employers are subject to the terms of the new 24-month STEM OPT extension regulations. 

Students must also agree to provide an evaluation report to the CISP every six months during the STEM OPT employment period from the employment start date listed on the new EAD card.

Documents for the STEM OPT Application will not be accepted in person. Please follow the directions carefully in each section. Make sure to watch and complete each section of the presentation to receive the application for the STEM OPT Form I-20. It will be emailed to you once you submit the completion certificate. 

Extending STEM OPT from 17 months to 24 months

STEM OPT extensions application must be received at the USCIS on or before August 8, 2016.  Please be aware that if an STEM OPT application is received at the USCIS *after* August 8, 2016, the application will be denied and there is no appeal to a denial decision. 

SCENARIO #1: A STEM OPT Application is Unapproved on May 10, 2016

If a STEM OPT application hasn’t been approved before May 10, 2016, the USCIS will send a Request for Further Evidence (an RFE) to the student. 

In order to be eligible for the STEM OPT 7-month extension, students must provide the following to the CISP:

    1.      A Copy of the RFE.

  1. PDF icon I-983.pdf must be completed and signed by both the student and the employer.
  2. No additional USCIS application fee will be required when responding to an RFE.

If you received an RFE from USCIS, click here and follow the guidance provided by the CISP. 

SCENARIO #2: You Will Apply for a 24-month STEM OPT Extension in the Future

Step 1: Attend the CISP STEM OPT Extension Workshop in person or online.

Step 2: Complete all required application requirements.

Step 3: Mail your STEM OPT Extension Application to the USCIS via Express Mail.

Please note: STEM applications may only be submitted up to 90 days prior to the initial 12-Month OPT EAD expiration.

Click here to see a 24-month STEM OPT extension presentation.

Documents for the STEM OPT Application will not be accepted in person. Please follow the directions carefully in each section. Make sure to watch and complete each section of the presentation to receive the application for the STEM OPT Form I-20. It will be emailed to you once you submit the completion certificate. 

Where to Mail the STEM OPT Extension Application

If your physical living address is in:

Mail your application to:

Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado,
Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana,
Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota,
Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada,
North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, South Dakota,
Utah, Washington, Wisconsin, Wyoming,
Guam, or the Northern Mariana Islands.

 

For U.S. Postal Service (USPS) Deliveries:

USCIS
PO Box 21281
Phoenix, AZ 85036

For Express Mail and Courier Deliveries:

USCIS
Attn: AOS
1820 E. Skyharbor Circle S
Suite 100
Phoenix, AZ 85034

Alabama, Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware,
District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia,
Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland,
Massachusetts, Mississippi,
New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico,
New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania,
Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, South Carolina,
Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont,
Virginia, U.S. Virgin Islands,
or West Virginia

 

 

 

 

 

For U.S. Postal Service (USPS) Deliveries:

USCIS
PO Box 660867
Dallas, TX 75266

For Express Mail and Courier Deliveries:

USCIS
Attn: AOS
2501 S. State Hwy. 121 Business
Suite 400
Lewisville, TX 75067