The 24-Month STEM OPT Extension allows international students in F-1 status who receive a bachelor's, Master's, or doctoral degree in an approved STEM field to apply for a 24-month extension of their standard 12-month Post-OPT period, twice in a lifetime. Employment must be with an E-verify employer.
You must apply for the STEM OPT extension 120 days before your current Post-Completion OPT expires.
Please submit the following document online to the International Affairs.
Please email the following documents to firstname.lastname@example.org to request an OPT STEM I-20.
Once all the documents are turned in to the International Affairs, our international advisor will issue you a STEM OPT I-20. Processing time for new I-20 is 2-4 business days. Click here to learn how to collect your STEM OPT I-20.
Be sure to make a photocopy of your entire application for your records after you have assembled it in the following order:
Check & Photos:
After gathering all the documents, make a copy of your application. Then place your application in an envelope with your check and pictures.
It is your responsibility to make sure USCIS receives all required application materials in a timely manner. You must mail your completed application packet with TRACKING to USCIS within 15 days after your STEM OPT I-20 has been issued (the dates on the I-765, check and photos must also be less than 30 days old).
For U.S. Postal Service (USPS) deliveries:
Phoenix, AZ 85036
For Express mail and courier deliveries (FedEx, UPS):
1820 E. Skyharbor Circle S
Phoenix, AZ 85034
You are still considered to be in F-1 student status while on OPT Extension, so any questions or concerns can be addressed by an International Student Adviser during this period.
You must report to the Office of International Programs within 10 working days of any change to your address, employment or immigration status via the online OPT Reporting Form.
The STEM OPT extension regulations have added new reporting requirements that must be completed in order to maintain your status. The reporting requirements include a 6-month demographic information update and a 12 and 24 month self-evaluation.
Every 6 months I will report to the Designated School Official (DSO) verifying that my details have not changed:
My STEM OPT start date is_____/_____/_____
My first 6 month reporting date falls on_____/_____/_____
My second 6 month reporting date (12 months into extension) is_____/_____/_____
My third 6 month reporting date (18 months into extension is_____/_____/_____
My last 6 month reporting date (24 months into extension) is_____/_____/_____
Additionally, 12 months and 24 months into my STEM extension I must submit a self-evaluation:
My first self-evaluation at 12 months into my STEM extension is due on_____/_____/_____
My second self-evaluation at 24 months into my STEM extension is due on_____/_____/_____
You may travel while on OPT Extension. However, please keep in mind that you are still in F-1 status and that you will need the following in order to re-enter the United States:
You are entitled to a 60-day grace period after the last day of OPT as indicated on your EAD. You may not work during your 60-day grace period. This 60-day grace period is to return home or to start a new program. You will need to notify the Office of International Affairs if you plan to begin another course of study after your OPT ends.
Transition plan overview - please check the information for all possible scenarios if you currently are on or pending the 17-month extension.
For students who want to start to apply for the seven-month extension, please follow step 1 above to request an OPT STEM I-20.