Skip to main content

STEM OPT Extension Application

STEM OPT Extension Process

  1. Attend or Watch a STEM OPT Workshop
  2. Prepare your I-983 Training Plan and STEM OPT Extension Application
  3. Email your completed STEM OPT I-20 Request (including your completed I-983 Training Plan) to ISS
  4. Receive your new STEM OPT Extension I-20
  5. Mail your application to USCIS

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.

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're happy to help you. Once your new I-20 recommending the STEM OPT Extension you can come in during drop-in hours to have your application reviewed. If you live outside the area, you can email your application for review (do not scan and email your check or SSN card).

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

We will accept verified electronic signatures on all ISS forms (as well as the I-983 Training Plan).

If you opt for the electronic signature, the signature must have a verification mark or be an signature. Typed signatures or signatures with a typed appearance are not accepted. Programs such as DocuSign or Adobe Sign have this feature. Please see below for an example.

Electronic I-20s: While the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) announced that I-20s can be electronically signed, we do not have clear guidance on whether other government agencies which are not within SEVP's jurisdiction, such as Department of State for visa appointments and Customs and Border Protection for entering the U.S., will accept electronic signatures. Therefore, ISS is not issuing I-20s with electronic signatures at this time.

STEM OPT extension applications: Your I-983 training Plan can be either hand signed or we will accept verified electronic signatures. Your STEM OPT I-20 and Form I-765 must be hand signed prior to mailing your STEM OPT extension application to USCIS. 

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 ISS@scu.edu. The email must include:

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

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 STEM OPT Extension. If your request is missing documents or information, we will contact you to correct and resubmit your request.

Receiving your STEM OPT Extension 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. Once your STEM OPT Extension I-20 has been created, we will notify you so that you can collect the document from our office or visit scu.edu/issmailing to create your mailing label and start the mailing process.

STEM OPT Extension Application Review Before Mailing To USCIS

If you want to have your STEM OPT extension application reviewed before you mail it to USCIS, you can visit our office during drop-in advising hours. If you are not able to visit during drop-in advising hours because you live outside the Bay Area, you can schedule a drop-in advising appointment (via zoom) to have the application reviewed electronically.

Preparing Your 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:

Review our FAQs about Preparing your STEM OPT Extension Application.

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 Application 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 (within a month of 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 a while (check average processing times here)
  • Contact ISS if you have any questions
  • Do not ever contact the government directly

Review our FAQs about Pending STEM OPT Extension Applications.

Once your Application has been 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.

STEM OPT Reporting Obligations

When the report is due: within 10 days of any change to your contact information

What you must keep up to date: all contact information, including U.S. residential address, U.S. phone number, foreign phone number, and prefered email address

How to report: login to ecampus and update your contact information

Questions? Email iss@scu.edu or schedule a zoom advising appointment

When the report is due: once you get your STEM OPT Extension EAD card in the mail.

What you will be asked to report: an uploaded copy of your STEM OPT EAD Card

How to report: visit scu.edu/reportopt to submit all STEM OPT extension reports

Tips: contact iss@scu.edu if you find any errors or typos on your card

Questions? Email iss@scu.edu or schedule a zoom advising appointment

 

When the report is due: within 10 days of your change of employment

What you will be asked to report:

  • Name of your prior company, the end date of employment, and a summary evaluation from prior employer
  • Name of your new company, start date of employment, and new I-983 Training Plan from your new employer

How to report: visit scu.edu/reportopt to submit all STEM OPT extension reports

Tips:  

  • The Summary Evaluation from your prior employer should be submitted using the "Evaluation of Student Progress" section on page 6 of your I-983 Training Plan. This self-evaluation should be completed by you and signed by you and your employer. The dates of your evaluation should cover your time with the employer during your STEM OPT period. Make sure that your summary evaluation dates are the start date of STEM OPT extension employment through your last day of STEM OPT extension employment with that employer only (i.e. do not include OPT employment dates or other dates while you worked with other STEM OPT employers).
  • Make sure that the new I-983 Training Plan meets all requirements, the most common errors are:
    • The form is completed and signed. All text is legible (readable). No text is cut-off or missing.
    • The start date of page 2 is the date (in the future) that I will begin my STEM OPT employment with the company. It is not the date (in the past) that I started working for the company on CPT or OPT.
    • The Other Compensation box on page 2 lists “standard corporate benefits” or lists all forms of compensation I am offered (including health insurance), even if I do not use the benefit. If you are not offered any benefits, list N/A.
    • The site location on page 3 is a complete address (including city, state and zip code) and is the exact location where I work on a day-to-day basis.

Questions? Email iss@scu.edu or schedule a zoom advising appointment

When the report is due: within 10 days of the material change

What you will be asked to report: The nature of the material change and an updated I-983 Training Plan, updated to reflect the change.

How to report: visit scu.edu/reportopt to submit all STEM OPT extension reports

Tips: Examples of Material Changes include:

  • Change of work location
  • Changes to company information on page 2
  • Substantial change to goals, objectives, supervision or evaluation
  • Substantial changes to salary, hours, or benefits

Questions? Email iss@scu.edu or schedule a zoom advising appointment

When the report is due: within 10 days of your last day at work

What you will be asked to report: Name of your prior company, the end date of employment, and a summary evaluation from prior employer

How to report: visit scu.edu/reportopt to submit all STEM OPT extension reports

Tips

  • The Summary Evaluation from your prior employer should be submitted using the "Evaluation of Student Progress" section on page 6 of your I-983 Training Plan. This self-evaluation should be completed by you and signed by you and your employer. The dates of your evaluation should cover your time with the employer during your STEM OPT period. Make sure that your summary evaluation dates are the start date of STEM OPT extension employment through your last day of STEM OPT extension employment with that employer only (i.e. do not include OPT employment dates or other dates while you worked with other STEM OPT employers).


Questions? Email iss@scu.edu or schedule a zoom advising appointment

When the report is due: at the 6 month point of your STEM OPT Extension period.

What you will be asked to report:

  • Your current U.S. residential address.
  • The full legal name of your current company.
  • Your current work location.

How to report: visit scu.edu/reportopt to submit all STEM OPT extension reports

Tips

  • Your current U.S. residential address should match eCampus
  • The full legal name of your current company should match your pay-stubs and page 2 of your I-983 Training Plan
  • Your work location should be the address where you work, and should match page 3 of your I-983 Training Plan


Questions? Email iss@scu.edu or schedule a zoom advising appointment

When the report is due: at the 12 month point of your STEM OPT Extension period.

What you will be asked to report:

  • Your current U.S. residential address.
  • The full legal name of your current company.
  • Your current work location.
  • 12 month evaluation (upload)

How to report: visit scu.edu/reportopt to submit all STEM OPT extension reports

Tips

  • Your current U.S. residential address should match eCampus
  • The full legal name of your current company should match your pay-stubs and page 2 of your I-983 Training Plan
  • Your work location should be the address where you work, and should match page 3 of your I-983 Training Plan
  • The 12 month Evaluation should be submitted using the "Evaluation of Student Progress" section on page 6 of your I-983 Training Plan. This self-evaluation should be completed by you and signed by you and your employer. The dates of your evaluation should cover your time with the employer during your STEM OPT period.

Questions? Email iss@scu.edu or schedule a zoom advising appointment

When the report is due: at the 18 month point of your STEM OPT Extension period.

What you will be asked to report:

  • Your current U.S. residential address.
  • The full legal name of your current company.
  • Your current work location.

How to report: visit scu.edu/reportopt to submit all STEM OPT extension reports

Tips

  • Your current U.S. residential address should match eCampus
  • The full legal name of your current company should match your pay-stubs and page 2 of your I-983 Training Plan
  • Your work location should be the address where you work, and should match page 3 of your I-983 Training Plan

Questions? Email iss@scu.edu or schedule a zoom advising appointment

When the report is due: at the end of your STEM OPT employment or the 24 month point of your STEM OPT Extension period, whichever comes first.

What you will be asked to report:

  • Your current U.S. residential address.
  • The full legal name of your current company.
  • Your current work location.
  • 24 month / Final Evaluation (upload)

How to report: visit scu.edu/reportopt to submit all STEM OPT extension reports

Tips

  • This report is due at the end date of your STEM OPT employment (either at the 24 month mark, or earlier, if you leave the U.S. or change from F-1 status earlier).
  • Your current U.S. residential address should match eCampus
  • The full legal name of your current company should match your pay-stubs and page 2 of your I-983 Training Plan
  • Your work location should be the address where you work, and should match page 3 of your I-983 Training Plan
  • The 24 month / Final Evaluation should be submitted using the "Final Evaluation of Student Progress" section on page 6 of your I-983 Training Plan. This self-evaluation should be completed by you and signed by you and your employer. The dates of your evaluation should cover your time with the employer during your STEM OPT period (not already covered by prior submitted evaluations)

Questions? Email iss@scu.edu or schedule a zoom advising appointment