New York University Skip to Content Skip to Search Skip to Navigation Skip to Sub Navigation

STEM OPT

F-1 students who completed a bachelor's, master's, or doctoral degree in select government-designated science, technology, engineering, or mathematics (STEM) fields and are currently engaged in post-completion OPT may apply for the STEM extension of 17 months of additional employment if they have a job or job offer from an E-Verify employer and meet all the required criteria.

If you believe your area of study is classified as a STEM field, contact the OGS via email at ogs@nyu.edu. Include your name and NYU ID number and the OGS will verify your eligibility.

Eligibility Criteria

  • have successfully completed an NYU bachelor's, master's, or doctoral degree in a STEM field based on the government classification
  • currently be authorized for post-completion OPT and have reported your current local US address and primary employer on the OPT reporting form
  • the job offer must be with a company enrolled in the government's E-Verify program
  • file an application with the OGS before the current OPT period ends
  • agree to report updates regarding your name, address, place of employment, and continuation of employment to the OGS every six months
  • your employer must agree to notify the OGS upon your termination or departure
  • not exceed 120 days of unemployment, based on previous post-completion OPT and STEM OPT

Procedure to Apply

(1) Apply for the STEM OPT recommended I-20

If you meet all the above requirements do one of the following:

  • No advisor meeting; submit online or in person to OGS:
    • send a scan of your completed STEM OPT request form, a completed FERPA form, and all the remaining STEM OPT application materials listed below to ogs@nyu.edu for Online OPT Service. Please note, the online option is only available to you if you are currently living and working outside of the NYC area.

    OR

    • bring your original completed STEM OPT request form and copies (not originals) of all the remaining STEM OPT application materials listed below to the OGS for Front-Desk OPT Service. Incomplete copy sets will not be accepted unless a suitable explanation is included.
  • One-on-one walk-in hour meeting with advisor; OGS wait times vary:
    • Bring your completed STEM OPT request form along with your passport, I-94 card and I-20, as well as all remaining STEM OPT application materials listed below to the OGS during walk-in advising hours. Normal walk-in wait times will apply. Failure to bring all documents may prevent processing of your OPT request.

STEM OPT application materials:

  • I-765 (the form should be signed in blue ink, the citation for question 16 is (c) (3) (C) and question 17 needs to be answered in full with the degree field and level, the employer's name and identification number as used in the E-Verify program. For further help in filling out the I-765, please see the I-765 explained.
  • Form G-1145, in order to receive an e-notification of application receipt from USCIS
    Photocopy of the NYU STEM degree
  • Two passport photographs (name, date of birth, I-94 card number and SEVIS number written on the back)
  • Check or money order for $380 made to U.S. Department of Homeland Security
  • Photocopy of the I-94 record (front and back)
  • Photocopy of the visa stamp page and bio page of the passport
  • Photocopy of all past I-20s
  • Photocopy of any previous EAD
  • Photocopy of your NYU transcripts indicating that you completed your degree in a STEM field

 

The timeframe to apply is no earlier than 120 days prior to the end date of your current OPT and no later than the end date of your current OPT. The OGS advisor will review the application to ensure that you meet all the requirements. If so, then a new I-20 is issued for the extended STEM OPT within 10 business days.


(2) Submit your STEM OPT Application to USCIS

The second step is you file the STEM OPT I-20 with USCIS prior to the end date of the current post-completion OPT. Your STEM OPT application to USCIS must include:

  • A photocopy of the STEM OPT I-20 (pages 1 and 3)
  • I-765 (the form should be signed in blue ink, the citation for question 16 is (c) (3) (C) and question 17 needs to be answered in full with the degree field and level, the employer's name and identification number as used in the E-Verify program. For further help in filling out the I-765, please see the I-765 explained.
  • Form G-1145, in order to receive an e-notification of application receipt from USCIS
    Photocopy of the NYU STEM degree
  • Two passport photographs (name, date of birth, I-94 card number and SEVIS number written on the back)
  • Check or money order for $380 made to U.S. Department of Homeland Security
  • Photocopy of the I-94 information (front and back)
  • Photocopy of the visa stamp page and bio page of the passport
  • Photocopy of all past I-20s
  • Photocopy of your NYU transcripts indicating that you completed your degree in a STEM field

 


Looking for the
STEM OPT Checklist?

Includes a step-by-step application checklist, photo requirements, and what to do if you have missing I-20s.

Click here


Want to know if your employer is E-Verify enrolled?

Check out the USCIS E-Verify Employers Search Tool

available here

Working While the Application is Pending

A student who has filed a timely application for the STEM OPT extension may continue to work while the application is pending, until a final decision is made on the application by USCIS or it has been pending 180 days with USCIS, whichever comes first.

Processing Time

The employment authorization for approved STEM OPT begins on the day after the post-completion OPT expires and ends 17 months later, regardless of the date the extension is actually approved by USCIS. The authorization is in the form of an Employment Authorization Document from USCIS.

Maintaining Status during STEM OPT

You must do the following to maintain F-1 status:

  • report to the OGS every six months from the begin date of the STEM OPT to confirm name, address, employer name, employer address, and that active employment is continuing
  • report to the OGS within ten days of any change in:
    • Legal name
    • Residential or mailing address
    • Employer name
    • Employer address
    • Loss of employment

Please allow 3 weeks for change of employer updates to take effect. Failure on the part of the student to initiate contact with the OGS at the designated timeframes above will result in termination of F-1 status, requiring immediate cessation of employment and departure from the U.S.


Information about Post-Completion OPT, the OPT STEM and Cap Gap extensions

Read the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Policy Guidance.

View the PDF here.

NYU Footer