STEM 24-Month Extension
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STEM Extension

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.​


Required Materials

• 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.  

• Completed USCIS Form I-765 Application for Employment Authorization.  You can download the most current form from the USCIS website.   

• 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. 


Special Considerations

• 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.  

• â€‹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.