STEM OPT Eligibility

See Study in the States for eligibility requirements.

  • You are currently on approved Post-Completion OPT.
  • You had fewer than 90-days of unemployment while on Post-Completion OPT.
  • ​For a list of STEM OPT eligible majors at UMass, please click here.
  • Your employer is enrolled in the E-Verify program and has an EIN (Employer Identification Number). (E-verify and EIN are not the same thing so you will need two different numbers).
  • You are not self-employed.
  • You have a job of at least 20-hours per week that is PAID. Unpaid volunteer or less than 20 hour positions are not permitted on STEM OPT.
  • Your application for STEM OPT extension must be received by USCIS before your Post Completion OPT expires.
  • You can be eligible for two STEM extensions in a lifetime, i.e. Bachelors and Masters, Masters and PhD, Bachelors and PhD.
  • The degree that serves as the basis for a second lifetime STEM OPT extension, must be at a higher educational level than the degree that served as the basis for the student's first STEM OPT extension.
  • A previous STEM degree obtained within the last 10 years from a U.S. institution can be the basis of a STEM OPT extension if current employment is in a STEM field. Example: Undergraduate STEM degree at a U.S. institution. Student then obtains a separate non-STEM Master’s degree. That student is initially only eligible for 12-months of OPT, but if working in a demonstrable STEM field, the student can subsequently apply for a 24-month STEM OPT extension based on previous undergraduate STEM degree. Talk to your IPO Advisor if this is your situation as it is rare.

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