Forms » OPT-24 MONTH EXTENSION
Attention: USCIS intended to change the I-765 form and fees on 10/02/2020. On 09/29/2020 a U.S. District Court issued a stay on the new fee rule. While the rule is blocked USCIS will continue to accept USCIS forms with the current editions and current fees. The Office of International Education will continue to monitor the situation, but it is important that students check the USCIS I-765 website on the day of mailing the application to confirm that they are using the correct form edition. Students should also use the USCIS fee calculator on the day of mailing to confirm that they are including the correct fees.
Please attend one of the OPT seminars if you have any questions regarding OPT. See the OPT Seminar Schedule for more info.
The 24-Month OPT Extension is available to students who are currently on the 12 month OPT and have graduated in a STEM degree (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics).
- Have been granted OPT and currently be in a valid period of OPT.
- Have earned a bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degree from a school that is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education-recognized accrediting agency and is certified by the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) when you submit your STEM OPT extension application. A list of STEM degrees is available here: https://www.ice.gov/sites/default/files/documents/Document/2016/stem-list.pdf
- Current STEM degree: If you are currently on post-completion OPT for a STEM degree earned at UT Arlington and you have never had a STEM extension at your current degree level, you are eligible to apply for a 24-month STEM extension.
- Previously obtained STEM degrees: If you are an F-1 student participating in a 12-month period of post-completion OPT based on a non-STEM degree, you may be eligible to use a prior STEM degree earned from a U.S. institution of higher education to apply for a STEM OPT extension. You must have received both degrees from currently accredited and SEVP-certified institutions, and cannot have already received a STEM OPT extension based on this prior degree. The practical training opportunity also must be directly related to the previously obtained STEM degree.
- For example: If you are currently participating in OPT based on a master’s degree in business administration but you previously received a bachelor’s degree in mathematics, you may be able to apply for a STEM OPT extension based on your bachelor’s degree as long as it is from an SEVP-certified U.S. college or university and the OPT employment opportunity is directly related to your bachelor’s degree in mathematics.
- STEM degrees you obtain in the future:If you enroll in a new academic program in the future and earn another qualifying STEM degree at a higher educational level, you may be eligible for one additional 24-month STEM OPT extension, for a maximum of two total stem extensions per student.
- For example: If you receive a 24-month STEM OPT extension based on your bachelor’s degree in engineering and you later earn a master’s degree in engineering, you may apply for an additional 24-month STEM OPT extension based on your master’s degree.
- Work for an employer who meets all the requirements listed on uscis.gov
- Submit your application to USCIS up to 90 days before your current OPT employment authorization expires , and within 60 days of the date your designated school official (DSO) enters the recommendation for OPT into your Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) record.
Scanned copy of I-765 - Application for Employment Authorization (Section - Forms and Document Downloads) - (Sample of I-765). It is important that you use the OIE mailing address on the I-765:
P.O. Box 19028
Arlington, TX 76019
- Copy of Signed OPT 24 month extension Request Form
- Copy of Passport Identity Page
- Copy of I-94
- Copy any previously issued EAD cards (current or expired)
- Job offer letter from an E-Verify employer
- Completed Form I-983 https://studyinthestates.dhs.gov/students-and-the-form-i-983
- I-20 and official transcripts from previous institution, if applying for the STEM extension based on a STEM degree previously earned at another institution
- **Recommended**: In order to ensure the most accurate employment information on your I-20, please submit the receipts you received from our office when you reported any changes to your OPT employment.