In order to be eligible for 24-Month Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) Extension, you must:

  • Currently be in F-1 status on Post-Optional Practical Training (OPT)
  • Have obtained a bachelor's, master's or Ph.D. degree in a STEM eligible field that is included on the STEM Eligible Degree Program List (pdf)
  • Be actively employed with an e-verified employer
  • 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 your major field of study
  • Be in a paid position and be employed for at least 20 hours per week
  • Have completed the Form I-983 (pdf) training plan with respective employer
  • Have been maintaining F-1 status and have not accrued more than the allowed 90 days of unemployment during Post-OPT

Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) has recently issued guidance on determining a direct relationship between employment and a student's major field 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 the SEVP Policy Guidance (pdf) for further information.

Employment not allowed on STEM Extension:

  • Volunteering/unpaid employment
  • Certain Third Party Placement arrangements. Students should read through United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (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 while on 24-Month STEM Extension. A student cannot accrue more than 150 days of unemployment during the entire period of Post-OPT and STEM Extension.

For assistance calculating your unemployment days, please visit the Study in the States Unemployment Counter.

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 training plan.

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