STEM OPT Eligibility

STEM OPT Eligibility

See Study in the States for eligibility requirements.

  • You have been approved and completed the initial 12-months of POST COMPLETION OPT.
  • You have had fewer than 90-days of unemployment while on POST COMPLETION OPT.
  • Your primary major/field as indicated on your I-20 form is a STEM field on this list.
  • Your employer is enrolled in the E-verify program.
  • You have a job or a job offer of at least 20-hours per week that is PAID. No “unpaid volunteer positions” for your STEM extension.
  • A previous STEM degree obtained 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. 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.
  • You can be eligible for two STEM extensions in a lifetime, i.e. Bachelors and Masters, Masters and PhD, Bachelors and PhD.