Office of Admissions
International Student Services

17-Month OPT STEM Extension


Students who are granted Post-Completion Optional Practical Training are eligible to apply for a one-time 17-month OPT extension, beyond the initial 12 months of OPT, if you meet all of the following conditions:

  • You are currently approved and actively participating in post-completion OPT.
  • You completed a bachelor's or master's degree in a science, technology, engineering, or math (STEM) field that is eligible for STEM extension designation.  Eligible degrees are listed by their Classification of Instructional Programs (CIP) code.  Your degree's CIP code is listed on the Primary Major line on page 3 of your I-20.  Visit the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforement website for the STEM Designated Degree Program List.
  • You have a job or job offer from an E-Verify employer.
  • You have not previously received a 17-month OPT extension after earning a previous STEM degree.

When to Apply

Apply before your current EAD expires.  USCIS recommends you apply up to 120 days before your OPT expiration.  You can continue to work for up to 180 days while the application is pending.

How to Apply

Submit the following information to the DSO by email to international@uhv.edu:

  • Name and address of current employer
  • Name and contact information of your supervisor
  • Letter from your employer on company letterhead stating their intention to hire/continue employment for you.  The letter should contain the company's E-verify number.
  • Your current email and mailing address
  • Completed USCIS Form I-765 Application for Employment Authorization