Requesting an OPT STEM Extension I-20:

To request an I-20 with your 24-month OPT STEM extension information from ISSS (required for your OPT STEM application to USCIS): 

  1. Confirm that you have a qualifying STEM degree (bachelor's master's or doctorate degree) earned at an accredited, SEVP-certified, U.S. higher education institution in the last 10 years
    • The "thesis or dissertation" exception is not available when basing the STEM OPT extension on a previous degree; the previous degree must be conferred.
    • The degree that serves as the basis for a second lifetime STEM OPT extension, must be at a higher educational level than the degree that served as the basis for the first STEM OPT extension
  2. Confirm that you have a qualifying employer for a position in the qualifying STEM degree field
  3. Complete the I-983 Training Plan for STEM OPT Students with your employer
  4. Complete the STEM Extension I-20 Request Form and attach a copy of your:
    • complete, signed I-983 Training Plan for STEM OPT Students for STEM OPT Students that addresses all training program requirements;
    • most recent EAD; and
    • documentation of the completion of your STEM degree course work.
      • If you have completed the degree, attach a copy of your diploma and/or copy of your final transcript indicating the degree major
      • If you have only completed the course work for the degree, attach a signed letter on letterhead from your academic department indicating the degree major, when the course work was completed, and that the degree is still in progress.
  5. Attach additional documentation if applicable (e.g., last I-20 from previous STEM degree)

Additional Resources:

24-Month OPT STEM Extension Application Materials

Please review the following handouts that include a checklist of required application materials:

When completing the I-765, do not use the ISSS office address as your mailing address (item 5).

You must provide a valid mailing address in the United States.

  • You may list a valid U.S. residence, APO, or commercial address.
  • You may also list a U.S. Post Office address (PO Box) if that is how you receive your mail.
  • If your mail is sent to someone other than yourself, please include an “In Care Of
    Name” as part of your mailing address.

Mailing the 24-Month OPT STEM Extension Application

It is your responsibility to mail a complete application to USCIS. STEM extension OPT applications may be filed up to 90 days before your current OPT end date. USCIS must receive the application BEFORE your current 12-month post-completion OPT ends and within 60 days of when ISSS enters the request information in SEVIS (ISSS advisor signature date).

It is recommended that you send your 24-month OPT STEM extension application to USCIS via registered or express mail so that you will be able to document when the application was received by USCIS. Application mailing address information is available on the USCIS website [ see eligibility code (c)(3)(i) / (c) (3) (C)].

Reporting Requirements While Authorized for a STEM Extension of OPT

While on OPT, you are still in F-1 status and required to report certain changes with 10 days of the change.

  • Reporting Changes of Address and Telephone Information:
    • Access the SEVP portal and update your information
      Do not submit a separate OPT Information Update Form if you are updating your information in the portal.
    • For alumni purposes, you can update your address in MyCUInfo and with the Alumni Association
  • Reporting Changes of Employer Information, Name, Citizenship, and Email:

For additional information regarding reporting requirements and the SEVP portal, please review: