STEM OPT Extension

UPDATE

There’s a new way to apply for OPT! USCIS recently launched an online application process for Post-Completion and STEM OPT. Our office has updated its processes to reflect the new online application. Please review the information on this page and in the Optional Practical Training Application FAQs before starting your application.

Please note: Post-Completion and STEM OPT applications require a new I-20 that lists your OPT as “requested” on the second page. Without this document, your application could be denied.


What is the STEM OPT Extension?

Optional Practical Training (OPT) is a period of temporary training that is directly related to an F-1 student’s program of study. F-1 students who completed a program of study in an approved STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) field are eligible to apply for a 24-month extension of their Post-Completion OPT.


Start Your Application by knowing your FAQs

INSTRUCTIONS FOR COMPLETING THIS eFORM

  1. Be sure to read the information on this webpage and our OPT Application FAQs thoroughly before starting the application process.
    • If you still have questions about the application process, please connect with an international advisor via our Advising Options.
  2. Complete the ISSS eForm to request the updated I-20 you will submit to USCIS in your online application.
    • You will need to upload your completed Form I-983 (pages 1-4) to this eForm in order for our office to issue you the new document.
      1. The I-983 is kept in your file with our office. You will not submit this document to USCIS with your application.
  3. An advisor will review your request and email you an updated I-20 recommending you for STEM OPT.
    • You are responsible for submitting your application to USCIS.

Please note: It can take up to 7-10 business days for our office to process your request once it is received, please plan accordingly.

FILING YOUR STEM EXTENSION OPT APPLICATION ONLINE

ISSS recommends you to file for STEM Extension OPT online.

  1. Gather your OPT application documents
    • Scroll down to review the Application Checklist provided at the bottom to make sure you have everything your need.
    • You must have an updated I-20 issued by ISSS for your OPT application. Your I-20 must show your OPT as “requested” on the second page of your document.
      • Print a color copy of your new I-20 for your records, and upload a signed copy to your online application.
        • Please remember to physically sign your I-20
      • View an example of what page 2 of your document should look like here.
  2. Start your Online Application with USCIS.
    • When completing the Mailing Address section of the online application:
      • The address you enter as your Mailing Address is where USCIS will mail your EAD card.
      • USCIS will not allow EAD cards to be forwarded!
      • If you do not know where you will be living in the next three months, please use a friend or family member’s address or the ISSS mailing address:
        • Colorado State University, 1024 Campus Delivery, Fort Collins, CO, 80523
      • Someone must sign for delivery of the EAD card. If someone other than yourself such as your roommate, family member, friend, apartment office manager, or CSU might be signing on your behalf, you must submit a Form 3801 to the US Post Office local to the mailing address you used for delivery.
        • If you elect to use our mailing address in your online application, please email our office for the Form 3801 that works for our address.

If you would like an advisor to answer questions regarding the online I-765, or if you would like to learn about submitting a paper application by mail (not recommended), please schedule an appointment with an International Advisor via Navigate.

APPLICATION CHECKLIST

  • Updated I-20 that shows your STEM OPT as “requested” on the second page of the document.
  • $410 – this fee can be paid online at the end of your online application
  • 2 new passport photos
    • Passport photo requirements can be found here.
      • The RamCard office on campus provides passport photo services or you can use other community locations such as Walgreens.
  • Copy of Passport Photo ID page
  • Copy of F-1 U.S. Visa and most recent arrival stamp
  • Copy of Current I-94 (available on the CBP website)
  • Copies of any previously issued EAD cards
  • Copy of your diploma showing the STEM major
  • Completed Form I-983 Training Plan
    • You will submit this in your I-20 Request eForm; IT DOES NOT NEED TO BE SUBMITTED TO USCIS WITH THE I-765
    • Sections 1 and 2 must be completed by the student
      • CSU’s SEVIS school code is DEN214F00179000.
      • You can leave the “Designated School Official (DSO) Name and Contact Information” field blank. The advisor who receives your application will fill in his/her own information.
      • Your Classification of Instructional Programs (CIP) Code is the number listed after your major on yourI-20. It is written in the format XX.XXXX.
    • Sections 3, 4, and 6 must be completed by the employer.
    • Section 5 must be completed the student and employer together.
    • You can leave page 5 of the Form I-983 blank at this time.
    • Please visit the Study in the States website for a tutorial on how to complete the Form I-983.