STEM Application Procedures
How do I apply for the 24-Month STEM extension of OPT? What documents do I need to submit?
The application process is basically the same as applying for the initial 12 months of OPT, but with some additional documents and important reporting requirements.
1. Send a scanned copy of the completed and signed Form I-983 Training Plan to ISP. ISP does not need a hard copy. The I-983 is not sent to USCIS as part of the formal application packet, but it could be requested by USCIS during the adjudication process. (See tips for completing Form I-983.)
2. Copy of new I-20, showing the 24-month STEM extension dates. This will be issued by ISP only after ISP receives your completed I-983. (Send only a photocopy of your STEM I-20 with your application packet. You must keep the original I-20 for yourself, as you will need it for any travel and re-entry to the United States.)
3. Application filing fee (check or money order, made payable to "US Department of Homeland Security"). Application filing fee is $410 as of August 2018, but always check the USCIS website for current fees and filing procedures.
4. Two identical passport photos. Note: Photos must have been taken within the last 30 days and should not have been used for previous visa, passport, or EAD applications.
5. Copy of any current and previous Employment Authorization Documents (EADs).
6. Copy of diploma or copy of transcript showing all degree coursework was completed.
7. Printout of electronic I-94 (or copy of front and back of paper I-94).
8. Copy of F-1 visa (valid or expired). Canadian citizens are exempt from the visa requirement.
9. Copy of valid passport ID page.
10. Copy of I-20 issued for your 12-month OPT.
12. Submit the completed Form I-765 and all supporting documentation by mail to the appropriate USCIS Lockbox address, based on where you live.
IMPORTANT: Your completed application must be received by USCIS before your initial EAD expires. It must be received by USCIS within 60 days of the date ISP signed the STEM I-20, but you cannot apply earlier than 90 days prior to the current EAD end date. If you have any questions about the timeline, contact ISP to review this together.