Presentation on theme: "17-Month OPT STEM Extension"— Presentation transcript:
1 17-Month OPT STEM Extension International Center17-Month OPT STEM ExtensionUpdated on February 2014
2 Eligibility Requirements Students currently on OPT who hold a STEM degree (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) are eligible to apply for a 17 month OPT extensionTo find out if your degree qualifies visitYou can find your CIP code (Classification of Instructional Programs) on the third page of your I-20The student’s employer MUST be registered in the government sponsored E-Verify program. For more information on the E-verify program visitAdditional requirements:You can only apply before the end date of your EAD cardYou can apply as early as 4 months (120 days) before the end date on you EAD card.The student agrees to report to the International Center any change of name, address or interruption of employmentStudent must be in the 12 month period of OPTEmployment must be directly related to the student’s major area of studyHas not received a 17 month OPT extension after earning a STEM degree
3 Application StepsConfirm that your degree qualifies for the 17 month extensionTurn in a complete application to the IC between as early as 4 months (120 days) before your current EAD card expiresOnce the IC reviews your application, a new I-20 will be generated. Without this I-20 the USCIS will NOT approve your request for the extensionYou will mail your OPT application along with new I-20 to the USCIS*NOTE: Application for OPT STEM extension must be submitted BEFORE the expiration of your EAD card. No exceptions!
4 17 Month Extension Timeline 1st year of OPT17 month extensionStart of OPTsame as startdate on EAD card11 ½ MONTHSLast day eligible toturn in your applicationto the IC4 MONTHS BEFORE EADcard expiresFirst day eligibleto apply for 17 monthextension
5 Application Materials Materials needed for OPT STEM ApplicationTwo U.S. passport quality sized photos.OPT student agreement form (this can be found on our website)I-765 form. Use black ink pen or type this formPhotocopy of biographical page of passportPhotocopy of F-1 visaI-94 formPhotocopy of most current I-20 reflecting your initial OPT datesPhotocopy of front and back of EAD cardPhotocopy of your UCI diplomaOPT employment update form (found on our website)NOTE: Do not turn in an incomplete application. All the requiredDocuments above MUST be included.
7 Completing the I-765 FormCheck “Renewal of my permission to accept employment” boxSection 1: Write last name in capital letters followed by first name. Example: ANTEATER, PeterSection 2: Leave blank if you have not used any other namesSection 3: Use your U.S. address that you will be at for the next days. If you are using another individual’s address please use this format:EXAMPLE: C/O “First and last name of individual”Section 4: Please write your country of citizenship/nationality as listed in your passportSection 5: Write your place of birth: city, province, and country if applicableSection 6: Date of birth as listed in your passportSection 7: Gender as listed in your passportSection 8: Check box stating your marital status.Section 9: Provide your social security number. If you do not have one, leave blankSection 10: Write down your 11 digit I-94 number found on your I-94 formSection 11: For OPT STEM extension mark the “yes” box and proceed to the next questionsWhich USCIS office: Please write Laguna NiguelFor dates: Please write the start and end dates on your current EAD cardResults: Please write Granted
8 Continuing the I-765 FormSection 12: Write your date of last entry in the U.S. Refer to your I-94 formSection 13: Write the airport code of the city you last entered the U.S. For example: If you entered through Los Angeles, you will write LAXSection 14: Write F-1 Student; however if your last entry was with another visa, write that visa status instead.Section 15: Write F-1 StudentSection 16: In the parenthesis write (C) (3) (C)Section 17: Write your degree. Example: Ph.D in Computer Science.List employer’s nameList employer’s e-verify numberSignature section: Sign in black ink and be sure your signature does not touch the top or bottom lines.Reminder: Be sure to complete addition of the I-765 form
9 Unemployment PeriodsWhile on OPT STEM period you may not be unemployed for more than 120 days.Make sure to report any change of employer or unemployment to the International Center as soon as possible. You may submit an OPT employment update form which can be found here
11 Q: How long does it take to get the 17-month OPT authorization? A: Approximately 60 to 90 days. This does not include the 7 business days processing time at the IC.
12 Q: I am currently in pre-completion OPT, do I need to apply for OPT post completion and then for the 17-month extension?A: Yes, each OPT requires a new application. One for OPT pre-completion, a second for OPT post completion, and a third one for the 17-month extension. Each application requires the payment of $380. You cannot turn in all applications at once. Each application must be turned in within the permissible time. OPT pre and post completion can be turned in prior to your graduation date. OPT post completion can be turned in 90 days prior to your graduation date. OPT 17-month application can be turned in as early as 120 days prior to the end date of your EAD card.
13 Q. What if my I-20 has a program listed as “Multidisciplinary Other” as the major but my official degree at UCI will list Masters on Computer and Information Sciences? Will my degree certificate prove that I am a STEM student?This can be a problem. Prior to your graduation date, you should update the IC with your actual degree. Your I-20 should always reflect the degree you are getting.
14 Q: My minor is in the STEM list, can I still apply for the 17 month extension? A: No, only conferred Bachelor, Master and Doctoral degrees qualify for the 17 month extension.
15 Further Questions and Information For questions, please the IC staff at or call our main line atThank you and good luck!