How does USCIS work with STEM OPT students?
STEM OPT students must work for an employer that is enrolled and in good standing with E-Verify, the electronic employment eligibility verification program administered by USCIS. While a STEM OPT student may change employers, the new employer must be enrolled and in good standing with E-Verify before the student begins STEM OPT employment.
Do you have to be a volunteer for a STEM OPT?
No “unpaid volunteer positions” on STEM extensions. Your application for STEM OPT extension must be received by USCIS before your 12 month OPT expires. A previous STEM degree obtained within the last 10 years from a U.S. institution can be the basis of a STEM OPT extension if current employment is in a STEM field.
What are the requirements for a STEM OPT extension?
The degree that serves as the basis for a second lifetime STEM OPT extension, must be at a higher educational level than the degree that served as the basis for the student’s first STEM OPT extension. Unemployment on STEM OPT is limited to an aggregate of 150 days.
What happens if my STEM OPT application is still pending?
If your STEM OPT application is still pending after 180 days, you must stop working until you EAD is approved. There is no option to expedite your application. USCIS must receipt your STEM OPT application no later than 60-days from the issuance of your STEM OPT I-20 form AND before your 12-month OPT expires.
Can a international student get a STEM degree?
International students pursuing a STEM degree in the U.S. qualify for a 17-month extension after their 12-month OPT expires. In other words, STEM students can receive up to 29 months total of OPT. You can use this time to work or intern in the U.S. after completing your degree.
When do STEM students have to complete opt?
After this, STEM students (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) can extend this period up to 24 months. Most students complete OPT after graduating from university. Others participate after they have been pursuing their degree for more than nine months and are entitled to work and gain practical knowledge in the field of their studies.
How long can an international student get an OPT extension?
International students pursuing a STEM degree in the U.S. qualify for a 17-month extension after their 12-month OPT expires. In other words, STEM students can receive up to 29 months total of OPT.
When to apply for USCIS flexibilities for opt?
These flexibilities apply only to applications received on or after Oct. 1, 2020, through May 1, 2021, inclusive. Read more here: USCIS Extends Flexibilities to Certain Applicants Filing Form I-765 for OPT.