17-Month OPT STEM Extension Presentation

17-Month OPT STEM Extension
UCI International Center
Eligibility Requirements
Students currently on OPT who hold a STEM degree (science, technology,
engineering, mathematics) are eligible to apply for a 17-month OPT
To find out if your degree qualifies, visit
You can find your CIP code (Classification of Instructional Programs) on
the third page of your I-20.
The student’s employer MUST be registered in the government-sponsored
E-Verify program. For more information on the E-Verify program, visit
Additional requirements:
You can only apply before the end date of your EAD card.
You can apply as early as 4 months (120 days) before the end date on your
EAD card.
The student agrees to report any change of name, address, or interruption of
employment to the International Center.
Employment must be directly related to the student’s major area of study.
Has not received a 17-month OPT extension after earning a STEM degree.
Application Steps
Confirm that your degree qualifies for the 17-month extension.
Turn in a complete application to the International Center as
early as 4 months (120 days) before your current EAD card
Once the International Center reviews your application, a new I20 will be generated. Without this I-20, USCIS will NOT approve
your request for the extension.
Mail your OPT application along with new I-20 to USCIS.
Note: Your application for OPT STEM extension must be submitted
BEFORE the expiration date of your EAD card. No exceptions!
17-Month Extension Timeline
1st Year of OPT
Start of OPT
same as
start date on
EAD card
card expires: First
day eligible to
apply for 17Month Extension
17-Month Extension
11 ½ MONTHS:
Last day eligible to
turn in your
application to the
International Center
Application Timeline
Materials needed for OPT STEM Application:
Two U.S. passport quality sized photos
OPT student agreement form (this can be found on our website)
I-765 Form – use black pen or type this form
Photocopy of biographical page of passport
Photocopy of F-1 visa
I-94 Form
Photocopy of most current I-20 reflecting your initial OPT dates
Photocopy of front and back of EAD card
Photocopy of your UCI diploma
OPT employment update form (found on our website)
NOTE: Do NOT turn in an incomplete application. All the required
documents above MUST be included.
Completing the I-765 Form
Check “Renewal of my permission
to accept employment” box
Section 1: Write last name in
capital letters followed by first
name. Example: ANTEATER, Peter
Section 2: Leave blank if you have
not used any other names
Section 3: Use your U.S. address
that you will be at for the next 60-90
days. If you are using another
individual’s address, please use
this format: “C/O First and last
name of individual”
Section 4: Please write your
country of citizenship/nationality as
listed in your passport
Section 5: Write your place of birth:
city, province, and country if
Completing the I-765 Form
Section 6: Date of birth as listed in
your passport
Section 7: Gender as listed in your
Section 8: Check box stating your
marital status
Section 9: Provide your social
security number. If you do not have
one, leave blank
Section 10: Write down your 11
digit I-94 number found on your I-94
Completing the I-765 Form
Section 11: For OPT STEM
Extension, mark the “yes” box and
proceed to the next questions:
Which USCIS office: Please write
Laguna Niguel
For dates: Please write the start and end
dates on your current EAD card
Results: please write “Granted”
Section 12: Write your date of last
entry in the U.S. Refer to your I-94
Section 13: Write the airport code
of the city you last entered the U.S.
For example, if you entered through
Los Angeles, write “LAX”
Section 14: Write F-1 Student;
however, if your last entry was with
another visa, write that visa instead
Completing the I-765 Form
• Section 15: Write F-1 Student
• Section 16: In the parenthesis,
write (C) (3) (C)
• Section 17: Write your degree.
Example: Ph.D in Computer
– List employer’s name
– List employer’s e-verify
• Signature Section: Sign in
black ink and be sure your
signature does not touch the top
or bottom lines
Unemployment Periods
• While on OPT STEM period, you may not
be unemployed for more than 120 days.
• Make sure to report any change of
employer or unemployment to the
International Center as soon as possible.
You may submit an OPT employment
update form, which can be found here.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How long does it take to get the 17Month OPT authorization?
A: Approximately 60-90 days. This does not
include the 7 business days of processing time
at the International Center.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: I am currently in Pre-Completion OPT. Do I
need to apply for Post-Completion OPT and then
for the 17-Month Extension?
A: Yes – each OPT requires a new application. One for
Pre-Completion OPT, a second for Post-Completion
OPT, and a third for the 17-Month Extension. Each
application requires the payment of $380. You cannot
turn in all applications at once. Each application must be
turned in within the permissible time. Pre- and PostCompletion OPT can be turned in 90 days prior to your
graduation date. The 17-Month Extension application
can be turned in as early as 120 days prior to the end
date of your EAD card.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What if my I-20 has a program listed as
“Multidisciplinary Other” as the major, but
my official degree at UCI will list Masters in
Computer and Information Sciences? Will
my degree certificate prove that I am a
STEM student?
A: This can be a problem. Prior to your graduation
date, you should update the International Center
with your actual degree. Your I-20 should always
reflect the degree you will be receiving.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: My minor is in the STEM list; can I still
apply for the 17-Month Extension?
A: No – only conferred Bachelor, Master, and
Doctoral degrees qualify for the 17-Month
Further Questions & Information
For questions, please e-mail the International
Center staff at [email protected]
or call our main line at (949) 824-7249.
Thank You!