STEM optional practical training (STEM OPT Extension) is a benefit of F-1 status for students who have completed a degree program (bachelor's, master's, or PhD) in a STEM-eligible program of study and have been approved for OPT.
STEM optional practical
training workshops are intended only for students who are currently engaged in post-completion OPT, have completed a STEM-eligible program of study, and seek to apply for the 24-month STEM OPT Extension. Although similar to post-completion OPT, the STEM OPT
Extension has several significant differences students need to learn about and understand before applying. The workshop will cover these differences along with the following information:
- Eligibility for STEM OPT
- How to apply for STEM OPT
- Employer requirements for STEM OPT
- STEM OPT regulations
At the end of each workshop, there will be a Q&A session for students who have concerns about applying. Students on post-completion OPT who are not able to attend the workshop because of time or location constraints should email ISSS for more information on how to apply.
F-1 students, if eligible, can apply for STEM OPT Extension starting 90 days before their post-completion OPT end date (the end date given on the OPT EAD Card). Students who plan to apply for STEM OPT Extension are strongly encouraged to attend a workshop
about four to six months before the post-completion OPT end date to ensure that they are able to apply for the STEM OPT Extension in a timely way.