OPT STEM Information

An F‐1 students approved for standard post‐completion optional practical training( OPT) based on a bachelor's, master's, or doctoral degree in a STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) field that appears on the DHS STEM‐Designated Degree Program List can apply to USCIS for a one‐time 17‐month extension of post‐ completion OPT.

Before you apply for the OPT STEM Extension, there are two things you should check for:

  • First, be sure that your major felid is eligible for the extension. Check the USCIS STEM Degree List for your major code appears. If your major code/major field does not appear you are not eligible for the STEM extension.
  • Second, check with your employer to be sure your company is E-Verified. You company must be E-Verified to apply for the OPT STEM Extension

If you major is a STEM field you will need to provide the following to your DSO:

  1. Completed I-765 Form from USCIS' website.
  2. OPT Information Sheet
  3. OPT Extension Agreement
  4. Letter (on company letterhead) from your employer stating that you are employed there and include company E-Verify number.
  5. $650.00 International Student Fee. This can be paid by check or money order payable to Auburn University. (This fee does not include the $380.00 filing fee charged by USCIS).
  6. Current mailing address to send I-20
Note: please allow for at least 7-10 business days for processing this request once all the required documents are received.

Once the required documents are received and the I-20 is processed, you will receive your I-20 in the mail along with the OPT STEM Checklist. Review the checklist to be sure you have all necessary documents to mail to USCIS.

Last Updated: July 24, 2014