Center for International Services & Programs

How to apply for STEM OPT

24-month STEM OPT Extension 

When to apply: 

Students with a STEM degree and currently in the 12-month OPT period:

  • USCIS must receive your STEM OPT extension application before your current 12-month OPT EAD card expiration date.
  • Apply as early as 90 days before your current 12-month OPT EAD card expiration date.
  • Take into consideration:
    • CISP needs 7-10 business days for processing your new I-20.
    • Allow sufficient time to mail your application to USCIS.

How to apply:

Students with a STEM degree currently in the 12-month OPT period: 

STEP 1: Confirm your 12-month OPT information is correct

  • Is your 12-month OPT information up-to-date? Check the SEVP Portal.
    • If your current address and employment information is correct, proceed to Step 2 below.
  • If your current address and employment information is not correct, submit a OPT Work Address. (Do not request a new I-20 in the 12-month OPT report webform; just submit the information changes. You will request a new I-20 in the separate 24-month STEM OPT I-20 request webform below).

    CISP must ensure the 12-month OPT information in your SEVIS record is accurate and updated before processing your STEM OPT I-20 request.

STEP 2: Complete the STEM OPT online presentation

Step 3: Complete all required application requirements.

  1. Gather and complete the following documents
    1. I-983 Training Plan (PDF icondownload I-983 form tips)
  2. Completed I-765 Form (PDF icondownload I-765 form tips)
  3. Submit the online STEM OPT Extension I-20 Request to CISP throught the online application that was emailed to you after completing the online presentation
  4. Allow 7-10 business days for processing. An CISP adviser will review your application and issue a new, updated I-20 with a STEM OPT Extension recommendation printed on the back page.

Step 4: Pick up New I20 and prepare your application. (see webiste for details)

Step 5: Mail your STEM OPT Extension Application to the USCIS via Express Mail. (see webiste for details)

Click here to see a 24-month STEM OPT extension presentation PDF icon STEM OPT Extensions.pdf

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.