Thomas Jefferson University

OPT Extensions for STEM Majors

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. Currently engaged in an active period of Post-Completion OPT
  2. Qualifying Degree:
    1. Student graduated from Jefferson with a STEM degree which is on the STEM Designated Degree Program List OR;
    2. Student received a prior, qualifying STEM degree. Prior degree must be
      1. Within 10 years of applying for the STEM OPT extension
      2. From an accredited U.S. education institution
      3. A Bachelor's degree or higher
      4. On the STEM Designated Degree Program List
  3. Employer must be E-Verify
  4. Student must be working in a paid position for at least 20 hours a week: Volunteer positions and self-employment are NOT possible

Documents Needed to Apply for OPT Extension

Documents Required by OIA

OIA requires the following documents to process an I-20 with STEM Extension requested. This I-20 will be part of your application to USCIS.

Applying to USCIS

Once you have the STEM OPT Requested I-20, there are two ways to apply to USCIS, online and by mail. Online is the preferred method to apply.  

Contact oia@jefferson.edu for more details.