17 Month STEM Extension for F-1 Post-Completion OPT

Students who hold degrees in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) may be eligible to apply for an additional 17 months of OPT. 

ISSO staff can assist you with determining whether or not your degree is eligible for the STEM extension. In addition to having completed a degree in a STEM field, you must also have a job offer or be currently working for an employer registered with E-Verify, a federal employment verification system.

You can submit the STEM application up to 120 days before your initial period of OPT expires.


STEM OPT Online ISSO Application


OPT STEM 6-Month Check-In


After an F-1 student is granted the 17 month STEM extension, the student must report to his or her DSO (within 10 days) any change in:

  • Legal name
  • Residential or mailing address
  • E-mail address
  • Employer name
  • Employer address

The student must also report to his or her DSO every six months, confirming the information listed above, even if there have been no changes. 

The requirement to report continues if the student’s 17-month STEM extension is extended further by the automatic cap-gap extension.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Please be advised that not all employers are certified by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security for E-Verify.   There can be a number of institutional reasons for this.  Therefore, do not assume that you are eligible to continue work with the 17-month STEM OPT extension without first checking with your employer to be sure that they are an E-Verify certified employer and therefore an eligible employer to qualify for the STEM OPT extension.

IMPORTANT NOTE ABOUT BRANDEIS UNIVERSITY:  Please be advised that Brandeis University is NOT an E-Verify certified employer for all employment across campus.  Therefore, individuals who will be working at Brandeis are NOT eligible for the 17-month STEM OPT authorization. Please consult with the ISSO about alternative visa options for continued employment at Brandeis beyond the 12-month period of authorized Optional Practical Training.  It is recommended that you plan early for application procedures for other visa types as processing changes of visa status applications with USCIS can take on average of 6 months to process (sometimes longer) and would need to be approved before the expiration of your 12-month OPT authorization.