STEM OPT Transition Tool

  • The current 17-month STEM OPT regulations remain in effect through May 9, 2016.
  • The new 24-month STEM OPT rule is effective beginning on May 10, 2016.
  • This transition tool does not include information for applying for a 24-month STEM OPT with your prior STEM degree. Visit 17-Month OPT Extension for more information.

Select the option best describing your OPT status:

I have an approved 12-month Post-Completion OPT.

My OPT ends before May 10, 2016 and I haven’t applied for the STEM OPT.

You may be eligible for the existing 17-month STEM extension with your current STEM degree. You must properly file your application before your current 12-month Post-Completion OPT expires. Beginning May 10, 2016, you may apply for an additional 7 months of STEM OPT* if you are eligible under the new rules.

My OPT ends on or after May 10, 2016 and I haven’t applied for the STEM OPT

Option 1: Apply on or before May 9, 2016 for the 17-month STEM OPT. You must apply within 120 days prior to your current Post-Completion OPT expiration date. Visit 17-Month OPT Extension for more information.

Option 2: Apply on or after May 10 for the 24-month OPT extension. You must apply before your current 12-month Post-Completion OPT expires.

I have a pending 17-month STEM OPT and if it is approved before May 10, 2016:

Option 1: The approval will be for a 17-month STEM OPT. You can retain the approval and work under the 17-month STEM OPT regulations.

Option 2: You may submit a new application under the new rules for the additional 7 months of STEM OPT* (if you are eligible under the new rules).
If you want the additional 7-month of STEM OPT, you must properly file this new application on or before August 8, 2016. A new I-765 fee will be required for the extension.

I have a pending 17-month STEM OPT and if it still pending on or after May 10, 2016:

USCIS will issue a Requests for Evidence (RFEs) to you. You must be able to provide additional documents to show eligibility for the 24-month extension without paying another application fee to USCIS for the extension.

I have an approved 17-month STEM OPT.

My STEM OPT ends before May 10, 2016

You are not eligible to extend your practical training associated with your current STEM degree under the new rules because of the effective date of the new STEM OPT rule is May 10, 2016. Your STEM OPT authorization will expire on the end date printed on the EAD.

My STEM OPT ends between May 10 and Oct. 6, 2016

You are not eligible to extend your practical training associated with your current STEM degree. To qualify for additional 7 months of STEM OPT* under the new rules, you must still have at least 150 calendar days remaining on your EAD card at the time the application is properly filed. Your STEM OPT authorization will expire on the end date printed on the EAD card.

My STEM OPT ends between Oct.7 and Oct. 14, 2016

You may qualify to apply for an additional 7 months of STEM OPT* under the new rules. Start reviewing the eligibility rules for the 24-month OPT extension, including the I-983 Training Plan to be completed with your employer. Consult your current employer now to prepare the required documents.

Depending on your 17-month STEM OPT end date, you might have limited time to properly file your 7-month STEM OPT extension! If you want the 7-month extension, please contact ISSO at least one week before May 10. 2016 to prepare your application.

My STEM OPT ends after Oct. 14, 2016

You may qualify to apply for an additional 7 months of STEM OPT* under the new rules. To qualify for an additional 7 months of STEM OPT* under the new rules, you must meet 3 eligibility requirements:

  • At the time the application is properly filed, you must still have at least 150 calendar days remaining on their EAD.
  • You must properly file application to USCIS during the application period: May 10, 2016 – August 8, 2016.
  • The proposed OPT activity must meet all 24-month STEM extension standards.

If you want the 7-month extension, please contact ISSO to prepare your application.

Warning!
Depending on your EAD end date, you might have limited time to properly file your application! Please prepare your STEM OPT application in advance.

Start reviewing the eligibility rules for the 24-month OPT extension, including the I-983 Training Plan to be completed with your employer. Consult your current employer now to prepare the required documents.

 

Disclaimer:

  • The STEM OPT Transition Tool is for UT Dallas F-1 students to use for general informational purposes.
  • This information is subject to change at any time.
  • Please contact an ISSO advisor to obtain advice with respect to your specific situation.