What is an OPT Stem Extension? How can I apply for an OPT STEM Extension? How long is an OPT STEM extension?

Posted on September 14th, 2016

This is for all those international students that are recent graduates of a STEM degree program here in the United States.  As you may already know, quite a few changes have taken place in 2016 in this area.  Here’s the latest:

  • Individuals that have obtained a degree in a STEM-designated field are eligible to apply for an extension of optional practical training (OPT) for an additional 24 months.
  • Please be aware that an employer must use E-Verify in order for the STEM extension to be accepted, so you’ll want to ask the recruiter or interviewer at the outset if it’s an E-Verify employer.  Planning in advance like this will provide an employee with a clear understanding of how long he or she will be able to work without sponsorship, and when the employer will need to take action in order to ensure his or her continued employment.
  • Employers and the applicant will need to complete a STEM OPT Training Plan as well.