24-Month STEM OPT Extension Application Deadline, Procedure and List of Documents

In This Section

APPLICATION DEADLINE:  NO LATER than 3 weeks BEFORE the expiration date on  your current post-completion OPT Employment Authorization Document (EAD) card. 

OISS REVIEW and PROCESSING TIME: An average of 5 business days

Step 1. SCAN completed STEM OPT Extension application to your international advisor via email as one, single PDF file with a minimum of 600 DPI at greyscale. Multiple attachments, zip files, etc. cannot be accepted. The format must be PDF
Step 2. Your international advisor will issue a new I-20 that recommends STEM OPT and will arrange pickup/mailing options with you.
Step 3. You must review your application to ensure accuracy of all documents and mail to USCIS.
Step 4. USCIS will issue you a new STEM OPT EAD once approved. You are legally allowed to continue work up to 180 days past the expiration of your current EAD while your STEM OPT application is pending with USCIS. 

 COMPLETED STEM OPT APPLICATION PACKET should include the following documents: 

  • Completed Form I-983, Training Plan for STEM OPT Students following the Form I-983 Instructions.  
  • TYPED Form I-765 Application for Employment Authorization  following I-765 Instructions for STEM OPT (Do not file Form I-765 electronically because it requires fingerprinting at a USCIS facility and the process may delay your application.
  • Photocopies of all of your previous Form I-20s
  • Your I-94 record printed from CBP website 
  • Photocopy of your passport photo page and expiration page if separate (valid at least 9 months into the future unless citizen of country on the Six-Month Club list)
  • Photocopy of your most recent visa  
  • Photocopy of your current EAD (and previous EAD if any)
  • Photocopy of your STEM degree diploma
  • Transcript of your STEM degree (If time allows, obtain an official copy from the Registrar's Office) 
  • Check or Money Order for $410 payable to “Department of Homeland Security” (write your name and individual SEVIS ID number on the memo line)
  • If using a credit card to pay the $410.00 fee to the Department of Homeland Security, please download the form G-1450 Authorization for Credit Card Transactions.
  • Two passport photos (2” x 2”) that follow the required U.S. Department of State specifications  

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