Students who graduate with a STEM degree are eligible to remain in the United States for an additional 17 months on an optional practical training (OPT) STEM extension.
You are eligible to apply for a one-time 17-month OPT extension, beyond the initial 12 months of OPT, if you meet all of the following conditions:
• You are currently approved for post-completion OPT.
• You completed a bachelor's, master's, or doctoral degree in a science, technology, engineering, or math (STEM) field. Visit the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement website for the STEM Designated Degree Program List. Eligible degrees are listed by their Classification of Instructional Programs (CIP) code. Your degree's CIP code is listed on the "primary major" line in the top left corner on the third page of your I-20.
• You have a job or job offer from an E-Verify employer.
• You have not previously received a 17-month OPT extension after earning a previous STEM degree.
When to Apply
Apply before your current EAD expires. USCIS recommends you apply up to 120 days before your OPT expiration. You can continue to work for up to 180 days while the application is pending.
Call or email the International Student Services Office for an appointment to submit you application, 972-721-5059. During the appointment you will be issued a new I-20 showing the requested dates of OPT extension. Bring the following items to the appointment.
• Completed Form I-765
o Item 16: Use the applicable code (c) (3) (C)
o Item 17: Please ask for an E-Verify code from your employer. An E-Verify ID number has 6 digits.
• Application fee: $380 check or money order payable to "U.S. Department of Homeland
• Copy of STEM degree (official transcript, unofficial transcript, or copy of diploma showing level and program of study)
• Passport and I-94 to be found at CBP.gov/I94
•Current Employment Authorization Document (EAD) (front and back)
• Two passport quality color photographs taken within the last 30 days. For your convenience, pictures can be made at the UD Postal and Print Shop on the lower level of Haggar.
• Completed G-1145 form (optional; it signs you up for email/text message notification of your application's arrival at USCIS)