Center for International Services & Programs

STEM OPT Eligiblity

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

  • Be in F1 status
  • Be currently working in a period of post-completion OPT 
  • Have a bachelor's degree or higher degree in a STEM based field
    • You may be eligible to use a prior STEM degree earned in the U.S. for this requirement; to use a prior STEM degree, you must:
      • Have received your most recent degree (which does not need to be STEM-related) from a currently accredited Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP)-certified school in the U.S.
      • Have received your prior, qualifying STEM degree in the U.S. within 10 years of applying for the STEM OPT extension.
      • The qualifying STEM degree must be on the Department of Homeland Security’s STEM Designated Degree Program List at the time you submit your STEM OPT extension application (rather than at the time you received the degree).
  • Have a paid job offer that meets the following requirements: 
    • The job is with an employer enrolled in the USCIS E-Verify program. Double-check with your employer to see if they are enrolled in E-Verify; sometimes the USCIS E-Verify database is not correct.
    • Cleveland State University does not participate in the E-Verify program. STEM OPT extension cannot be approved for Cleveland State University positions. 
    • The job offers at least 20 hours of work per week
    • The job will provide formal training and learning objectives directly related to your qualifying STEM degree
  • Be able to complete the I-983 Training Plan with your employer