Students who graduate in certain Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics majors might be eligible to extend the 12-month Optional Practical Training period for an additional 24 months.
Before you apply for STEM OPT:
- DO NOT submit your STEM OPT application to USCIS until you complete STEM Extension Request AND you receive your STEM OPT I-20 from the ISS Office.
• You must currently completing Post-Completion OPT
• You cannot exceed your 90 days unemployment during Post-Completion OPT
• You have earned qualifying STEM degree (STEM Designated Degree Program list)
• Employment must be related to your STEM major/ field of study
• Any employer must have an e-Verify number
• You must work a 20 hours or more (full-time)
• Employment must be paid.
• You must submit the completed Form I-983 “TRAINING PLAN FOR STEM OPT STUDENTS” at the time of application.
• Form I-983 Training Plan for Stem OPT Students Pages 1 – 4, completed by student and employer
• Copies of your current I-20 and all previously issued I-20s
• Copies of your passport and visa information page and most recent I-94 record.
• Copy of both sides of any previously issued EAD cards
• Copy of your STEM diploma
• Copy of SUNY New Paltz transcript (Request SUNY New Paltz transcript)
• Completed USCIS Form G-1145 if you want to receive email/ text verification from the USCIS that your application has been accepted.
• Upload STEM OPT Administration Fee* Receipt
1. Complete the online STEM Extension Request in your ISS-Profile.
2. Complete the OPT Employment Update in your ISS-Profile.
3. Once you submit both Requests via the International Student Platform, an International Student Advisor will review your request and email you once your STEM OPT I-20 has been issued.
4. Once your STEM OPT I-20 has been created, USCIS must receive the completed application within 60 days, or your application for OPT will be denied.
• You can apply for the STEM extension as early as 90 days before your current OPT expires.
• Once you receive your STEM OPT I-20, please make sure to follow the instructions provided with your I-20 to submit your application to USCIS.
• As long as your application is received by the USCIS before your OPT expires, you can work up to 180 days after your OPT expiration date while your application is pending.
• You must validate your STEM OPT employment at 6 months and 18 months.
• You must submit the completed “Evaluation of Student Progress” 12 months into the approved 24-month STEM extension period.
• You must submit the completed “Final Evaluation of Student Progress” 24 months into the approved 24-month STEM extension period or if you change STEM employers.
• You cannot be unemployed for more than 60 days within your STEM period.
• The *STEM OPT Administration Fee is a required fee of $150 for any any student applying for STEM OPT. Since you remain on the immigration sponsorship of SUNY New Paltz, for additional 24 months, a STEM OPT Administration Fee must be paid.
• Please visit our STEM FAQ: All you need to know about STEM OPT site for additional information about employment possibilities while on STEM OPT.