STEM OPT Extension

The information here is for enrolled International Students on F-1 visas.


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).

IMPORTANT: You must request an updated I-20 with STEM OPT recommendation on page 2 from the Office of International Education before submitting your application to USCIS. USCIS must receive your application before the end date of your 12 month OPT period. USCIS must also receive your application within 60 days of the date your OPT I-20 was issued. Please remember to account for OIE processing time of up to 10 business days when beginning application process. To qualify for the 24-month STEM extension, you must:

  1. Have been granted OPT and currently be in a valid period of OPT.
  2. 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.

    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.
  3. Work for an employer who meets all the requirements listed on
  4. 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.

Submit scanned copies of all completed forms/documents listed below to the OIE no earlier than 90 days before the end of 12 month OPT. The OIE will review your documents and create an updated STEM OPT I-20. We will scan and e-mail the I-20 to your e-mail address. Once you receive the copy of the signed I-20, you should print, sign, and date it. Next, you will need to mail your application to USCIS, following the eShipGlobal mailing instructions here. USCIS processing time can be up to 90 days. You are allowed to continue working for up to 180 days while your timely filed STEM OPT extension application is pending.

  • $470 for online filing or $520 for paper filing (check or money order payable to U.S. Department of Homeland Security)* Please consult the USCIS fee calculator on the day you mail the application to confirm current fees
  • $175 STEM OPT Case Management Fee
Do not transmit Form I-765 with Social Security number included (item 9.b.)
  1. Submit the 24-month STEM extension request in GlobalMavs and be prepared to upload the following documents:


  2. 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
  3. Copy of Passport Identity Page
  4. Copy of I-94
  5. Copy any previously issued EAD cards (current or expired)
  6. Job offer letter from an E-Verify employer
  7. Completed Form I-983
  8. Copy of management fee receipt
  9. I-20 and official transcripts from previous institution, if applying for the STEM extension based on a STEM degree previously earned at another institution
  10. **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.

An OPT Processing and Case Management Fee will be charged when students apply for post-completion OPT and/or the 24-month STEM extension. This fee will be used to subsidize the costs associated with the mandatory case management for students on Optional Practical Training after graduation.

The following fees will apply:

  • 12 Month OPT: $150
  • 24 Month OPT Extension: $175

This fee is not for expedited processing. Please allow up to 7 business days for processing.


Payment Process

Payment for these fees will be processed through the self-service page on your MyMav account only. This process allows you to use a credit card or an electronic check to pay for services. These fees cannot be paid to OIE or the Office of Student Accounts.

STEM OPT Made Simple