UCI International Center

OPT STEM Extension Eligibility

Section 1

To qualify for the 24-month extension, you must:

  • Have earned a bachelor’s, masters, 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.
  • Have been granted OPT and currently be in a valid period of OPT
  • STEM degree has been obtained
  • Work for an employer who meets all the requirements listed and will agree to the following:
    • Be enrolled in E-Verify and remain in good standing.
    • Report material changes to the STEM OPT student’s employment to the DSO within 5 business days.
    • Implement a formal training program to augment the student’s academic learning through practical experience.
    • Provide an OPT opportunity that is commensurate with those of similarly situated U.S. workers in duties, hours, and compensation.
    • Complete the Form I-983, Training Plan for STEM OPT Students. In this form, employer must attest that:
      • You have enough resources and trained personnel available to appropriately train the student;
      • The student will not replace a full- or part-time, temporary or permanent U.S. worker; and
      • Working for you will help the student attain his or her training objectives

Additional Resources

Study in the States

Study in the States Overview and Tutorial for Form I-983 Training Plan for STEM OPT Students

Study in the States web site: STEM OPT Help Hub

SEVP STEM Extension Overview (including list of eligible fields of study)

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)

Form I-983 Training Plan for STEM OPT Students

Instructions for Completing Form I-983 Training Plan for STEM OPT Students