Frequently Asked Questions

What is the deadline for students to file for the 24-month STEM Extension?

Eligible students can submit the STEM Extension application to USCIS up to 90 days prior to the expiration date of their current Post-OPT Employment Authorization Document (EAD). The STEM Extension application must reach USCIS no later than the end date of a student's Post-OPT EAD.

Can a student continue to work past their post-OPT expiration date with a pending STEM Extension application?

If the student has filed a STEM Extension application with USCIS in a timely manner prior to the expiration of their post-OPT Employment Authorization Document(s) (EAD), the student's work authorization automatically extends for up to 180 days while the student's STEM Extension application is pending.

Can students change employers while their STEM Extension application is pending with USCIS?

Yes. However, if the STEM Extension period has started, the employer must also be an E-Verify employer. The student will then need to update their employment via the STEM Employment Reporting Tool e-form, including a final evaluation on page 5 of the Form I-983 for the previous employer, and a new completed Form I-983 for the new employer. This must be submitted to the ISSO within 10 days of the employment change.

Can a student travel outside the U.S. if their EAD expires while their STEM Extension request is pending?

No. The student must wait to receive the new Employment Authorization Document(s) (EAD).

What are a student's compliance requirements while on STEM Extension?

Students on STEM Extension must:

  • be employed by an e-verify company in a paid position for at least 20 hours per week;
  • work in a position related to the STEM degree and in student's major field of study; AND
  • cannot accrue more than 150 days of unemployment time during the entire period of post-completion OPT and STEM Extension
What are students required to report to the ISSO while on STEM Extension?

  • Legal name change
  • Change in country of citizenship¬†
  • Change in U.S. residential or mailing address
  • All employment changes, providing the employers name, address, and supervisor information - CAN ONLY WORK WITH E-VERIFY EMPLOYERS
  • Report loss of employment and complete Form I-983 with employer to submit to the DSO within 10 days
  • Report / Verify employment information to International Student Advisor every six months
  • For further reporting requirements, please review the STEM Reporting Requirements webpage