STEM OPT Extension

On March 11, 2016, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) published its final rule to strengthen and enhance the optional practical training (OPT) program for F-1 international students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields.

The new STEM OPT extension is a 24-month period of temporary training that directly relates to an F-1 student’s program of study in an approved STEM field and effectively replaces the 17‑month STEM OPT extension.

The 2016 STEM OPT 24-month extension final rule is effective beginning May 10, 2016.

Study in the States launched the STEM OPT Hub in coordination with this new rule to help school officials, F-1 students and interested employers understand the new regulation.