OPT 17-Month Extension Information
F-1 students are eligible for the 17-month OPT extension ONCE during their lifetime regardless of their degree level.
- You have been approved for the initial 12 months of post completion OPT
- Your primary major/field is a STEM field: http://www.ice.gov/sevis/stemlist.htm
- Your employer is enrolled in the E-verify program
- You have a job or a job offer of at least 20 hr/wk that is paid
Any OPT is automatically terminated when a student transfers to another school or begins study at another educational level.
Students who timely file an application for the 17-month OPT extension will be able to continue employment while the extension application is pending, until USCIS makes a final decision on the I-765 application or for 180 days, whichever comes first.
APPLICATION TIME FRAME
USCIS recommends that you file for the OPT extension 90-120 days PRIOR TO YOUR CURRENT OPT END DATE. ABSOLUTE DEADLINE: Must be received by USCIS before the current 12 month OPT end date.
1) Complete Form I-765 – Fill out the form on-line and then print:
· For question 16 on the I-765, enter (c) (3) (C).
· For question 17, enter the name of the degree as shown on I-20. Enter the Employer’s name as listed in E-verify and also the E-verify Identification number.
2) Write a personal check for $380 payable to or Department of Homeland Security.
3) Complete the OPT address information form with current employment information and personal contact information.
4) Bring a “copy of your degree”. This should be the official/unofficial transcripts (which must include your program of study), and a copy of your diploma (which will state the degree level).
5) Obtain 2 photographs, per specification on M-603. You can have your photographs taken on-campus at the UCard office (545-0197) in Room 168 Whitmore Administration Building ($10 for 2 photos).
6) Bring all of the above to the International Programs Office along with copies of your bio/demo page from your valid passport, current Form I-20, your EAD card and I94 (arrival and departure) card front and back.
7) An advisor will review your documents and provided you meet the eligibility requirements, will issue a new I-20 with the OPT extension. (send copy)
Mail the items 1, 2, 4, 5 listed above along with a copy of your 12 month OPT card, copy of NEW OPT extension I-20 and all previously issued I-20s. See page 10 of Form I765 for USCIS Dallas Lockbox facility address.
If your employer changes while your OPT extension is pending, send new I765 with new E-verify #, referencing your case/receipt # to the Dallas Lockbox facility address. No fee required for this request.
It is the student’s responsibility to report OPT participation every 6 months to IPO. If your employer has changed, fill out the I765 and the OPT address form and send to IPO.