Priority for this extension is given to students who’ve majored in a science, technology, engineering or mathematics field.
The STEM-based OPT extension provides an additional two years of work authorization beyond the initial F-1 OPT authorization of 12 months.
Once all extensions are used, the foreign national can pursue a green card, but travel restrictions apply throughout the process.
Employers must be enrolled in E-Verify for the foreign national to receive approval for an F-1 OPT STEM extension.
• Foreign nationals with F-1 OPT student status studying at a U.S. college or university.
• Students who have exhausted their initial 12 months of OPT eligibility.
• Students who hold a STEM-eligible degree.
This extension grants an additional two years of work authorization for STEM students who complete their initial 12 months of optional practical training.
No extension after the 24 months elapse.
Once all extensions are used, the foreign national can pursue a green card, but travel restrictions apply throughout the process. However, it may be simpler to transfer the worker to a dual intent visa, such as an H-1B before the green card petition is filed.