OPT extension for STEM

F-1 students who receive specified STEM degrees can apply for an additional 24-month extension of OPT. This applies for your bachelor's, master's and/or doctoral degree. To qualify, you must apply for and receive an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) from United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).


  • You hold a degree included on the list of STEM Designated Degree Programs.
  • The degree is granted by a school (such as Wayne State University) that is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education accrediting agency and certified by the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP).
  • You are on post-completion 12-month OPT and working for an E-verify company.
  • Your employer meets all the requirements specified by USCIS.
  • You and your employer have completed Form I-983 and submitted it to your OISS advisor.
  • You have submitted Form I-765 within 90 days of your current OPT authorization expiring, and within 60 days of the date your advisor entered your STEM OPT recommendation into SEVIS.

Applying for a STEM OPT extension

To apply for an extension, you must file:

  • Form I-765 (including the application fee). Please review the guidelines for completing the form 1-765 (pdf) for assistance. DO NOT FILE this petition online or via mail before OISS has provided you with an updated I20 recommending STEM OPT. It is your responsibility to ensure you have the correct I20 prior to submitting your petition to USCIS.
  • Form I-20 (endorsed for OPT STEM by your OISS advisor within the last 60 days). The I20 will have STEM OPT listed on page 2 in the Employer section.
  • A copy of your STEM degree
  • Submit the application for STEM OPT extension (pdf) to OISS.

More information can be found at the STEM OPT hub.

Please make sure you meet all reporting requirements for your OPT extension.