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24-Month STEM OPT Extension

  • Overview


    F-1 students who completed a Bachelor's, Master's, or Doctoral degree in select government-designated science, technology, engineering, or mathematics (STEM) fields and are currently working with post-completion OPT may apply for the STEM extension of 24 months of additional employment if they have a job or job offer from an E-Verifiod employer and meet all the required criteria.

    If you earned a previous STEM degree from an accredited US institution, you may also be eligible for the STEM OPT extension. See the Department of Homeland Security’s STEM Designated Degree Program List. You can find the CIP code for your previous degree on page 1 of the current format I-20 or at the top of page 3 of the old format I-20.

    If you have questions about your eligibility, contact your International Student Advisor.

    Employment requirements
  • Applying for the STEM OPT Extension

    Applying for the STEM OPT Extension

    The application process for STEM OPT involves both the Visa and Immigration Office at SBU and United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Once a student is approved for the STEM OPT Extension, they will receive a new Employment Authorization Document (EAD) from USCIS.

    When to apply
    Step 1: Get your Limited Access PIN from accessVIS
    Step 2: Submit the I-20 Recommending STEM request
    Step 3: Review and sign your STEM I-20
    Step 4: Complete Form I-765


    Students applying for the 24-Month STEM Extension will be assessed a $200 International Student Fee payable through SOLAR. This is a SUNY approved fee effective since Fall 2012 that is assessed based on the issuance of your I-20 recommending STEM, regardless of whether you use the OPT authorization or not. Failure to submit timely payment of this fee could result in the Bursar reporting your information to a collection agency.

  • Employment Reporting Requirements

    Employment Reporting Requirements

    Students on STEM OPT are required to report any and all changes to employment, address, name, status, etc. within 10 days, and are required to complete scheduled participation reports and evaluations at specific points throughout the extension period.

    Download the STEM Calculator to determine and track your reporting deadlines.

    6-month SEVIS validations
    Annual self-evaluations
    Changes or interruptions in employment
    Material changes to an existing Form I-983


  • Important Considerations

    Important Considerations

    F-1 students may file the Form I-765 online or by using the paper based application. 

    USCIS ultimately provides the decision on your STEM application. It is your responsibility, as the applicant, to ensure that your application is accurate and complete before you submit it to the U.S. government. 

    • Do not submit an online application if you have already filed by mail. Duplicate applications may be denied by USCIS. 
    • You may only file Form I-765 online from within the U.S. You are not eligible to apply for STEM Extension from outside the country. 
    • While filing Form I-765 online may be quicker and easier than filing by mail, it does not speed up the time required for USCIS to adjudicate your application. See the USCIS websitefor current processing times. 
    • Do not file the Form I-765 online until you have received your updated Form I-20 recommending STEM OPT.
    • Once you submit your application, you cannot go back to edit or change information. Please contact your VIS advisor immediately if you believe you have provided incorrect or incomplete information when filing Form I-765. Failing to do so can result in Requests for Evidence (RFEs), processing delays, or the denial of your application by USCIS. 
    • USCIS has the discretion to require biometrics appointments on a case-by-case basis.

    You MUST submit your I-765 and supporting documentation to USCIS before the expiration of your Post-Completion OPT and within 60 days of the issue date of your OPT Form I-20 (listed on page 1, next to your advisor's signature).

    Filing the Form I-765 for STEM OPT Online

    Filing the Form I-765 for STEM OPT by Mail

  • SEVP Portal

    SEVP Portal

    The U.S. government created an online portal for students on STEM OPT to report the following personal and employer information directly to SEVP:

    • Add or edit your phone number
    • Add or edit your mailing and physical address
    • Edit or delete your employer's information

    The use of this portal is optional and does not impact your employment authorization. At this time, VIS encourages you to submit any updates directly to us in accessVIS. Once you submit your information to VIS, we will update your SEVIS record, and thus the U.S. government on your changes.

    If you choose to use the government's SEVP Portal and have any issues using it, including if you get locked out of it, if you forget or need to reset your password, or if you never received the email providing you with instructions on how to create and log into the portal, please contact your International Student Advisor for assistance.

    Who can report employment through the SEVP Portal?
    Which email will SEVP use to communicate with me?
    Can I still report my employment in accessVIS?
    I am on STEM OPT, should I still use the SEVP Portal?
    What if I have trouble accessing the SEVP Portal or have questions once I login?
  • STEM OPT Extension FAQs

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Where can I find additional government resources about the STEM OPT extension?
    Where can I find my CIP code?
    What is Stony Brook University’s SEVIS School Code?
    If I have a dual major, can I qualify for the 24-month extension based on one of the degree programs?
    Can I request a STEM extension based on a previously earned STEM eligible degree?
    When does my 24-month extension of OPT start?
    Can I work with an expired EAD while my 24-month extension is pending?
    Can I expedite my I-765 application for STEM OPT?
    I have a 24-month STEM OPT application pending with USCIS and have a new job. What do I need to do?
    I completed an eligible STEM degree and am working as an unpaid intern. Am I eligible for the STEM OPT extension?
    I completed an eligible STEM degree and am self-employed. Am I eligible for the STEM OPT extension?
    I completed an eligible STEM degree and work for a consulting firm or staffing agency. Am I eligible for the STEM OPT extension?