The STEM OPT extension is a 24-month period of temporary training that directly relates to an F-1 student's program of study in an approved STEM field.

Eligible F-1 students with STEM degrees who finish their program of study and participate in an initial period of regular post-completion OPT (often for 12 months) have the option to apply for a STEM OPT extension. Students may not apply for STEM OPT extensions during the 60-day grace period following an initial period of regular post-completion OPT.

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services announced that F-1 students seeking optional practical training (OPT) can now file Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, online.   The online filing allows applicants to submit forms electronically, check the status of their case anytime from anywhere, and receive notices from USCIS online instead of waiting for them in the mail.

Required items you must submit on this application:

  • Copy of the OPT Administrative Processing Fee of $150 receipt
  • Signed and Completed copy of I-983 Training Plan for STEM OPT Students
  • Copy of your current Employment Authorization Card (EAD) also known as OPT Card (front and back)
  • Copy of most recent UTRGV Transcript showing completion of your degree
  • Copy of Diploma
  • Copy of your Passport, Visa, and I94 (preferably in color)
  • Scanned passport-style picture 2 x 2

USCIS continues to accept the latest paper version of these forms by mail.  If you choose to mail your I-765 with the traditional method you will require to also submit the following:

  • Copy of I-765 filled and signed
  • Copy of Check or Money Order payable to US Department of Homeland Security for $410

Once the application is submitted, it will take 5-7 working days to review your paperwork. You will receive an email when the application has been reviewed and your I20 is ready.  

We use Submittable to accept and review our submissions.