17-Month Extension Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Eligibility

Question: Can a student with dual major qualify for the 17-month extension based on one of the degree programs?

Yes, if the student's major is listed as one of the approved STEM Designated majors and all employment worked while on the 17-month extension is related to the STEM major. However, the student's secondary major will not print on the Form I-20 recommending the 17-month extension. Please request that the ISSO annotate the Form I-20 with the secondary major. If a student has a double major and obtained regular post-completion OPT on the non-STEM major or a STEM major that is not approved by DHS, the student is ineligible for the 17-month extension.

Question: Can a student qualify for the 17-month extension based on the student's minor?

No.

Question: Can a student who previously earned a degree in a 17-month extension eligible major, and now has earned a non-17-month extension major, apply for the extension?

No. The 17-month extension must be based on the same degree as the post-completion OPT.

Employment

Question: When does the student's period of 17-month extension start?

The student's period of 17-month extension starts the day after the expiration of the student's original period of OPT.

Question: When does the student's period of 17-month extension start?

The student's period of 17-month extension starts the day after the expiration of the student's original period of OPT.

Question: Can the student change employers while the 17-month extension application is pending?

Yes. However, if the 17-month extension period has started, the employer must also be an E-Verify employer. The student must report the change in employment to the ISSO. The student should submit an amended Form I-765 to the appropriate USCIS Service Center, providing the new employer's E-Verify number and a copy of the USCIS receipt notice for the first Form I-765. A brief letter explaining the submission should also be included. There is no fee associated with submitting the amended Form I-765.

Question: Can the student travel outside of the United States if his or her employment? authorization document expires and the 17-month extension request is pending?

No, the student must wait to receive the new employment authorization document.

Question: Can a student change employers during the 17-month extension?

Yes, however, the employer must also be an E-Verify employer. The student must report the change in employment to his or her DSO.

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