Current International Students

OPT Extensions for STEM Majors (STEM OPT)

STEM extension is for 24-months, for a total OPT/STEM period of 36-months.

Applications can be submitted to USCIS starting 90 days before the end date of your current OPT period.

General Eligibility Requirements

1. You are currently engaged in an active period of Post-Completion OPT.

2. You have a qualifying degree.

The Classification of Instructional Programs (CIP) code indicates whether a major is STEM-designated and it is found next to the major's name on an I-20.

In order for your degree to be eligible for STEM OPT:

The CIP code on your Jefferson I-20 must be listed on the STEM Designated Degree Program List. Note: The program decides the CIP code for your major and it is on record with the Registrar's Office. 


You have a prior, qualifying STEM degree with the following criteria:

  • The degree was obtained within 10 years of applying for the STEM OPT extension.
  • It is from an accredited U.S. educational institution.
  • It is at a Bachelor's degree or higher.
  • It is on the STEM Designated Degree Program List.

3. Your employer is an E-Verify employer.

4. You must be working in a paid position for at least 20 hours a week. Volunteer positions and self-employment are NOT possible.

Process to Apply for STEM OPT Extension

  1. Submit the required documents through the International Service Portal for OIA to process your STEM OPT Requested I-20. This I-20 will be part of your application to USCIS.
  2.  Attend an information session on STEM OPT or book an appointment with an International Student Advisor to answer any questions.
  3. Once you receive your STEM OPT Requested I-20, apply on USCIS' website online. Do not submit your application to USCIS until you have uploaded your STEM OPT Requested I-20 and all of the other required documents for the application.