You are eligible to apply for a one-time 17-month OPT extension, beyond the initial 12 months of OPT, if you meet all of the following conditions:
- You are currently approved for post-completion OPT.
- You completed a bachelor's, master's, or doctoral degree in a science, technology, engineering, or math (STEM) field. Visit the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement website for the STEM Designated Degree Program List. Eligible degrees are listed by their Classification of Instructional Programs (CIP) code. Your degree's CIP code is listed on the "primary major" line in the top left corner on the third page of your I-20.
- You have a job or job offer from an E-Verify employer. Ask your employer
- You have not previously received a 17-month OPT extension after earning a previous STEM degree.
When to Apply
Apply before your current EAD expires. USCIS recommends you apply up to 120 days before your OPT expiration. You can continue to work for up to 180 days while the application is pending.
How to Apply
Submit the following to DSO, Lusine Balikyan located in the Center for Creative Professions (by email, mail, or in person):
- Name and address of current employer
- Name and contact information of your supervisor
- Your email address
- Your updated local address*
- Completed I-765 form
Please allow one week for processing. Center for Creative Professions will issue a new I-20 with a recommendation for the OPT extension and will mail it back to you at the updated local address provided*.
Review your application materials before mailing.
- Completed Form I-765
- Item 16: Use the applicable code (c) (3) (C)
- Item 17: Please ask for an E-Verify code from your employer. An E-Verify ID number has 6 digits.
- Photocopy of new I-20 page 1 and 3
- Application fee: $380 check or money order payable to "U.S. Department of Homeland Security"
- Copy of STEM degree (official transcript, unofficial transcript, or copy of diploma showing level and program of study
- Photocopy of the front and back of your I-94 card--or, if you do not have an I-94 card, a copy of your F-1 admission stamp in your passport and a printout of your electronic I-94 information, which can be obtained at CBP.gov/I94
- Photocopy of your last EAD (front and back)
- Photocopy of passport identification page
- Photocopy of F-1 visa page
- Two photos of the following specifications:
- USCIS photo instructions (see the "Required Documentation" section on page 6)
- The two photos should have a white background.
- They should be un-mounted, printed on thin paper, glossy, and not re-touched.
- The photos should show a passport-style, full-face image, with both ears visible.
- The photos should be 2 by 2 inches, with the distance from the top of the head to just below the chin about 1 3/8 inches.
- Lightly print your name and your I-94 number in pencil on the back of each photo.
- Photographs must have been taken within the last 30 days and not previously used.
- Completed G-1145 form (optional; it signs you up for email/text message notification of your application’s arrival at USCIS)
Mail your application to the appropriate USCIS lockbox.
If you live in Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington, Wisconsin, Wyoming, Guam, or the Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands, be sure to mail your application to the USCIS Phoenix lockbox:
USCIS Phoenix Lockbox
PO Box 21281
Phoenix, AZ 85036
For Express Mail and Courier Deliveries
1820 E. Skyharbor Circle S
Phoenix, AZ 85034