24 Month OPT STEM Extension

What is the STEM extension?

The STEM Extension is a 24-month extension of Optional Practical Training (OPT) authorization available to F-1 students who have graduated with degrees in the fields of science, technology, engineering, or mathematics. The STEM Extension application is reviewed by CIE and submitted to U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) for processing.

How do I apply for the STEM extension?

  1. Review the STEM OPT Handout and sample I-983.
  2. Submit the required documents listed on the STEM extension application form via email to cie@csuastbay.edu or an international student advisor. 
  3. A new I-20 will be issued and emailed to you. You must sign page 1 of your I-20 when you receive it then copy it for the application. You will compile the required list of documents to send to USCIS after receiving your new STEM OPT I-20.
  4. Send required documents to USCIS within 60 days of OPT STEM recommendation by CIE and before the end end of your Post Completion OPT EAD.
  5. Wait 2-4 months to receive work authorization.
  6. Submit a copy of your Employment Authorization Document (EAD) to CIE. 
  7. Report your validation and evaluations reports on time.

Who is eligible to apply for the STEM extension?

  • You must have graduated within the last 5 years with a degree in Science, Technology, Engineering, or Mathematics.
  • The degree code (CIP code) listed on your I-20 must match the  STEM Designated Degree Program List in order for you to be eligible for the extension. If you are not sure if you are eligible or cannot find the degree code on your I-20 please contact the CIE office.
  • You must have a paid position within an E-Verified company, working at least 20 hours per week in your academic field of study. 
  • Your employer must be willing and able to fill out the  I-983 training plan.

Important Note: All signatures on the I-765 must be in black ink. No electronic signatures are accepted at this time.