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International Student Services

OPT STEM Extension

During the initial 12 month period of Optional Practical Training (OPT), certain government-designated STEM degree-holders (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) may be eligible for an additional 17 months of OPT, for a total of 29 months. Please review the degree programs that qualify for a STEM extension.

Eligibility Requirements:

• You must have successfully completed a bachelor’s, master’s or doctoral degree in a field on the DHS STEM Designated Degree Program List.

• You must be currently participating in a 12-month period of OPT working for a U.S. employer in a job directly related to your major area of study.

• You must have a job offer from an employer registered with the E-Verify employment verification system at the time of application for the 17-month OPT extension. It is your responsibility to ensure your employer is registered with E-Verify.

• You must have not previously received a 17-month OPT extension after earning a STEM degree.

• A Designated School Official (DSO) at the International Center of Rowan University must recommend the 17-month OPT extension in SEVIS after reviewing your request.

• You must file the Form I-765 and fee in a timely fashion.

• The employer must agree to report the termination or departure of the STEM OPT employee to the International Center within 48 hours if it is prior to the end of the authorized period of OPT.

Application Period:

You may file your application up to 120 days before the current OPT end date. However, the application must be received by USCIS within 30 days of the date on which the International Center issues an OPT I-20.

Application Process:

Submit the following items to the International Center:

• A completed Rowan University OPT STEM Extension Request Form

• Photocopy of phages 1 and 3 of all previous and current I-20(s)

• Photocopy of passport

• Photocopy of current I-94 (front and back)

• Photocopy of current OPT/EAD card

Submit the following items to the USCIS Service Center:

• Completed I-765 form

• I-765 Application Fee

• Required documentation outlined in the Instructions for I-765

Mail your materials to:

• U.S. Postal Service deliveries:
USCIS
P.O. Box 660867
Dallas, TX 75266

• Express mail and courier deliveries:
USCIS
Attn: AOS
2501 S. State Highway 121 Business
Suite 400
Lewisville, TX 75067