24 Month STEM Extension of OPT

​F-1 students who completed a bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degree in a STEM field and are currently engaged in Post-Completion OPT may apply for a 24 Month STEM Extension of their OPT if they have a job or job offer from an E- Verify employer.

​Eligibility Requirements

In order to qualify for a STEM extension, you must meet the following requirements:

General Requirements: You must...

  • Be currently participating in a 12-month period of approved, Post-Completion OPT and apply in advance of the current OPT’s expiration date.
  • Submit your materials to USCIS before the expiration of your current OPT, but no sooner than 90 days before your expiration date.
  • Complete Form I-983 STEM Training Plan with your employer (more details provided in the "Application Procedures" section below).
  • Be otherwise properly maintaining F-1 status:
    • No than 90 days of accrued unemployment during current OPT period.
    • Met all reporting obligations within the required 10-day reporting window, including reporting changes in employment and changes in address.

Degree Requirements: You must...

  • Have completed a Bachelor’s, Master’s, or Doctoral degree in Science, Technology, Engineering, or Mathematics (STEM) as identified by the Department of Homeland Security. See the list of STEM-designated majors here on the Study in the States website
  • NOTE: A qualifying degree that you have earned prior to your most recent degree may be considered for the STEM extension.
Employer and Employment Requirements: You must...
  • Be employed at the time of your application.
  • Work for, or have accepted employment with, an employer enrolled in the E- Verify Program (view more information about E-Verify here). Please check with the employer’s HR department to confirm if the company is enrolled.
  • Have a "bona-fide" relationship with your employer. This means that your employer holds the primary responsibility to ensure that you carry out the details outlined in your I-983 training plan. While you are permitted to work at a client site location, your employer's client should not be the entity providing direct supervision of your work.  Read more about the employer eligibility requirements on the USCIS website (visit here) or on the Study in the States website (visit here).
If you are still unsure of your eligibility, please contact an OGE advisor for additional guidance.

Application Procedure

If you are eligible for STEM based on the criteria above, follow these steps to begin the STEM extension request process:

Frequently Asked Questions

Submitting STEM Participation Reports

While on STEM OPT, you are required to submit participation reports every six months. These reports are due within 10 days of the required reporting period (6 months, 12 month, 18 months, and 24 months after your start date). To complete your participation reports, please complete the following:

  1. Go to https://oia-intl.cmich.edu and log in with your CMU Global ID and password.
  2. Click on STEM OPT Extension under the Records heading on your home screen.
  3. Choose the correct report to submit depending on the reporting period (6, 12, 18, or 24 months) and complete the required questions.
Please note: the 12 and 24 month reports require completion of the appropriate self-evaluation located on page 5 of Form I-983. You will be asked to upload a copy of your evaluation when you complete the reports for these reporting periods. The 6-month and 18-month reports do not require this self-evaluation component.

Submitting Final Evaluation When Changing Employers

SEVP requires students to submit a final evaluation when leaving an employer, even if the student's period of STEM OPT has not yet expired. To complete and submit this:

  1. Download Form I-983 and complete the final evaluation section of page 5. This does require a signature from the employer you are leaving or have already left. You do not need to complete any other part of the I-983 for this submission.
  2. Go to https://oia-intl.cmich.edu and log in with your CMU Global ID and password.
  3. Click on STEM OPT Extension under the Records heading on your home screen.
  4. Under Questionnaires, click on Submit Final Evaluation Here When Changing Employers. Complete the required questions, upload your Form I-983 where directed, and click Submit at the bottom. An OGE advisor will be notified of this and indicate your completion accordingly.