In order to be eligible for 24-Month STEM Extension, student must:

  • Be in F-1 status working on Post-OPT
  • Have a bachelor's, master's or PhD in a STEM Field
  • Be actively employed with an e-verified employer, or have an employment offer which must commence before or on the start date of the STEM validity period
  • Be employed in a position that is in their field of study
  • Be in a paid position and be employed for at least 20 hours per week
  • Have completed the formal training plan, Form I-983 with respective employer
  • Have been maintaining F-1 status and have not accrued more than the allowed 90 days of unemployment during Post-OPT
  • Read through the entirety of this STEM web page

SEVP has recently issued guidance on determining a direct relationship between employment and a student's major area of study, putting the onus on the student and the International Student and Scholar Advisor (DSO) to confirm that all OPT work is in the student's field of study. Please review information about this guidance on our Immigration Updates Blog.

Employment not allowed on STEM Extension:

  • Volunteering/unpaid employment
  • Certain Third Party Placement arrangements. Students should read through USCIS interpretation of allowed employment on STEM Extension.
  • Employment under 20 hours per week. All STEM Employment MUST be at least 20 hours per week

Unemployment Time

Students are granted an additional 60 days of unemployment days while on 24-Month STEM Extension.

Concurrent Employment

You may hold concurrent employment on STEM Extension, but the minimum amount of hours you must work for each employer must be 20. Additionally, each employer must complete the Form I-983.

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