STEM OPT Extension Application

STEM OPT Extension Process

  1. Attend or WatchSTEM OPT Workshop
  2. Prepare your Training Plan (Form I-983) and STEM OPT Extension Application
    • Schedule a phone or in person consultation if you have any questions
  3. Email your completed  Training Plan (Form I-983) and STEM OPT Extension I-20 Request to ISS
  4. Receive your new I-20 from our office via:
    • STEM OPT Advising appointment, or
    • Pick-up, or
    • Mail
  5. Mail your application to USCIS

Need Help?

If you still have questions, schedule a consultation to speak with an ISS Advisor either in person or on the phone.

When Can You File?

You can mail your STEM OPT Extension application to USCIS up to 90 days before your current OPT EAD Card expires. We recommend submitting your I-983 Training Plan to our office about 120 days before your card expires.

Requesting your STEM OPT Extension I-20

Your request for a new I-20 recommending your STEM OPT Extension will be submitted via email to The email must include:

Review our STEM OPT Extension Request and Training Plan (Form I-983) FAQs for more information.

SCU Alumni applying for a STEM OPT Extension are no longer required to meet with an ISS Advisor or schedule an appointment to apply for STEM OPT.

If you are confident that you can properly prepare your STEM OPT Extension filing or if you have an attorney submitting the filing your behalf, you have the option of simply collecting your new I-20 recommending the STEM OPT Extension from our office, or even having it mailed to you. You will express this preference on the STEM OPT Extension I-20 Request.

However, if you'd like your STEM OPT Extension Application reviewed before you mail it to USCIS, we are happy to schedule an appointment. Once your new I-20 recommending the STEM OPT Extension we will send you a link to our STEM OPT Appointment Calendar, so you can pick an appointment that works for your schedule.

If you have already attended a STEM OPT Workshop but you still have questions about the STEM OPT Extension process, you can schedule a 30 minute in person or phone consultation.

ISS Processing

Once we receive your STEM OPT Extension I-20 Request along with your completed Training Plan (I-983) and the copy of your EAD Card, we will review your request within 10 business days. If your request is complete, we will issue your new I-20 recommending the 24 month STEM OPT Extension and contact you. If your request is missing documents or information, we will contact you to correct and resubmit your request.

Receiving your I-20

On the STEM OPT Extension I-20 Request you are given the option to either collect your new STEM OPT Extension I-20 from our office or have it mailed to you. Additionally, you will have the option to request a personal advising appointment with an ISS Advisor to have your STEM OPT Extension Application reviewed before you mail it to USCIS.

Once your I-20 has been created, we will notify you and either mail your I-20 or have it available to collect. If you've requested a personal advising session, we will give you access to our STEM OPT Appointment calendar where you can schedule an appointment that works with your schedule.

STEM OPT Extension Application

Once you have your new I-20 recommending STEM OPT Extension, your STEM OPT Extension Application should be mailed to USCIS for processing. Your STEM OPT Extension Application Package should include:

Component Notes Link to FAQs
Cover Letter Template STEM OPT Cover Letter (.docx with notes) Cover Letter FAQs
Check for Filing Fees Sample OPT Check (pdf) Check FAQs
Photos Photo Specifications Passport Photo FAQs
Form I-765 (fillable pdf) Sample STEM OPT I-765 (pdf) Form I-765 FAQs
Form G-1145 (fillable pdf) Optional Form Form G-1145 FAQs
New STEM OPT I-20 Issued by ISS STEM OPT I-20 FAQs
Supporting Documents Copies of all your immigration documents Supporting Document FAQs


STEM OPT Application Deadlines

Your STEM OPT Extension Application must be properly received by USCIS before your OPT EAD Card expires and no more than 60 days after your new STEM OPT Extension I-20 is created by ISS.

Review our FAQs about mailing your STEM OPT Extension Application.

Once your case has been mailed

If your STEM OPT Extension application was received by USCIS before the expiration of your OPT EAD Card, you may continue to work without interruption, even after your current OPT EAD Card expires.

  • Receive your receipt notice (about 2 weeks after mailing)
  • Check for typos (contact ISS if there are any)
  • Track the status of your case online using your USCIS receipt number
  • The case will be pending for about 90 days
  • Contact ISS if you have any questions
  • Do not contact the government directly

Review our FAQs about Pending STEM OPT Extension Applications.

Once your case is approved

  • Contact ISS if you have any questions
  • You will receive an approval notice and your official EAD Card in the mail
  • Check for typos (contact ISS if there are any)
  • Upload a copy of your card and report your employment to our office
  • Continue to report employment and changes to your contact information to our office
  • Do not exceed your allotted unemployment (60 days + whatever is leftover from your post-completion OPT)
  • Notify ISS of material changes to your employment that impact your Training Plan (Form I-983)
  • Submit your Self-Evaluation at the 12 and 24 month point in your STEM OPT
  • Respond to our 6 month check-in emails

Review our FAQs about Approved STEM OPT Extensions.