OPT - STEM Extension


On Friday, March 11, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) published new STEM OPT regulations, which replaces the current regulations.  There are two significant changes that are of particular interest to students.  STEM Extensions will now be 24 months long AND STEM Extensions will now require a formal training plan with employers (the form I-983). The new regulations become effective May 10, 2016.

BACKGROUND: Due to a court order, the current STEM Optional Practical Training (OPT) extension regulations will expire on May 10, 2016. On May 10, 2016, these new regulations will replace the current regulations and allow STEM OPT to continue.

NEW STEM OPT REGULATION: The new regulations will allow a 24 month STEM OPT extension, but will add some additional requirements. For example, the student and the STEM OPT employer will be required to complete a “Training Plan for STEM Students (Form I-983)” that will apply to the STEM OPT employment, and the STEM OPT employer will be required to pay the same salary that they pay other employees who do similar work and have similar amounts of experience.

AFTER May 10, 2016:Students applying for a STEM extension of OPT on or after May 10, 2016, will follow the new procedures outlined in the new regulations. Students have to email Arezou Kashani in order to start the STEM Process.

 For more information: