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 working with post-completion OPT may apply for the STEM extension of 24 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 and you don't see it on the NYU STEM programs list, contact us.
If you earned a previous STEM degree from an accredited US institution, you may be eligible for the STEM OPT extension. See the Department of Homeland Security’s STEM Designated Degree Program List. You can find the CIP code for your previous degree on page 1 of the current format I-20 or at the top of page 3 of the old format I-20. If you have questions about your eligibility, contact us.
On This Page:
F-1 students who:
The earliest you can apply is 90 days prior to the end date of your current OPT. The US Citizenship and Immigration Services must receive your STEM OPT application before your current OPT expires.
If you applied for STEM OPT before your current OPT expires, you can continue to work while your STEM OPT application is pending, until a final decision is made on your application or it has been pending 180 days with the US Citizenship and Immigration Services, whichever comes first.
Read all the steps in this process carefully. Make sure you have reported your employer and address information to our OPT reporting form. Then gather and prepare all the items you need for your STEM OPT application. Each document you print for your application should be single sided.
Files should be in pdf or jpg format and no larger than 20mb. Learn how to reduce your pdf file size.
Note that the online request form contains several sections. You will need to complete each section of the form in order before moving on to the next section.
If you have any problems submitting the online request, review our troubleshooting tips.
An OGS advisor will review your application and issue your new I-20. This can take up to 10 business days to process. We will email you when your new I-20 is ready.
Pick up your new I-20 at the OGS once you receive an email telling you that your new I-20 is ready. If you requested to have your new I-20 shipped to you, we will ship it via UPS. You will receive further instructions with your new I-20.
Once you have received an updated I-20 with the STEM OPT recommendation, make sure to sign your new I-20, photocopy it, and include the photocopy of your new I-20 with the rest of your STEM OPT application materials (see the list of materials in STEP 4). Make any suggested changes to your I-765 application as recommended by an OGS advisor.
• Incomplete or incorrect applications can cause serious delays so go over the checklist one more time and make sure you’ve included everything.
• Make sure to include the original check / money order, original photos and original I-765, and original and official transcripts. Everything else should be a copy.
• Keep a photocopy of your complete OPT application for your records.
Send your application to USCIS by FedEx or UPS. USCIS must receive it within 60 days of the date your I-20 was issued AND before your current OPT expires.
If living in the New York area, mail your application to:
USCIS, Attn: NFB AOS
2501 S. State Hwy. 121 Business, Suite 400
Lewisville, TX 75067
If living outside of New York, mail your application to the address as specified by an OGS advisor.
Once USCIS sends you any information regarding your application, they will send official notification to you through the US postal service.
Informed delivery allows you to digitally preview your mail and manage your packages scheduled to arrive soon. Learn more about how to set up your informed delivery account.
Students on STEM OPT are required to report any and all changes to employment, address, name, status, etc. within 10 days and are required to complete scheduled reports and evaluations at specific points throughout the extension period. Use the STEM OPT Reporting Form for updates and reports. For more information, visit our information on Reporting Requirements for STEM OPT.
Review our Alumni Documents to Carry page for information on traveling during your STEM OPT.
Based on communication from US Customs and Border Protection, OGS strongly recommends that you not travel outside of the US after the post-completion OPT end date until you receive the STEM EAD card.
Once your STEM OPT period ends, you have 60 days from the end date of your STEM OPT as listed on your EAD to do one of the following: