STEM OPT (Immigration)

Basic information

  • Owner(s):
  • Applies to:
    • Current Students
    • Prospective Students
  • Approved by:
    • International Admissions
  • Issued: December 1, 2021
  • Last updated: December 1, 2021

If your major is on the DHS official STEM OPT list, you may apply for two additional years of OPT. You will go through the normal OPT process to apply for your first year of OPT. Then you may apply for the two-year STEM extension near the end of your first year of OPT.  

USCIS will accept your STEM extension application no more than 90 days before the end date of your regular OPT, as shown on your EAD. You can contact Calvin’s DSO about four months before your regular OPT ends to start the application process.  

To apply for STEM OPT, you must be working at a company enrolled in E-verify. Check your company's website or contact their human resources department to check if your employer is enrolled.

  1. Follow the steps on the checklist.
    • Read and sign the STEM OPT Regulations Agreement
    • Complete the verify employer and address form
    • Fill out the I-983. There are parts for you and for your employer.
  2. Send all of the completed forms from step 1 to the immigration coordinator by mail or e-mail. You will receive an I-20 with a STEM OPT recommendation.
  3. Send your completed application to USCIS, including the new I-20 you received. The checklist contains more inormation on this step.
  4. You will get a receipt notice in the mail. It could take several weeks to receive the notice.
  5. You may continue working up to 180 days after your current EAD end date once you have the receipt, even before your new EAD arrives. If USCIS denies your request before your current OPT end date, you may reapply. If they deny your request after your current OPT end date, you must stop working immediately.

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