Apply for OPT STEM Extension

Students with degrees in the STEM fields (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) are eligible for an addition 24 months of work authorization after the completion of the first 12 months of their Optional Practical Training (OPT). STEM Extension requests must be filed before the expiration of the 12 month OPT period. Students who file a timely application are permitted to continue employment while the extension application is pending until a final decision is made or for an additional 180 days, whichever comes first. The earliest a student may apply for a STEM Extension is 90 days before the expiration of their 12 months of OPT.

Students interested in applying for the STEM Extension please read thoroughly and carefully the information provided below before contacting the International Services Office.

To Apply :

Students must submit the following documents to the International Services Office to request an I-20 reflecting a STEM Extension request:

1. Copy of completed form I-983 

  • Instructions for filling out a Form I-983 can be found here: Official Government Tutorial Here.  (Do not fill out the self-evaluation section on pages 6 & 7)
  • 2. Copy of completed Form I-765 

  • Please look at this example for instructions on how to fill out the I-765. SECTION 1 and SECTION 2.

  • 3. Copy of current EAD card

    4. Copy of Offer Letter (dated within the last 4 months)

    Standard processing time for a new I-20 is between 3-7 business days but may take longer during peak times. You will recieve an e-mail when your new I-20 is created.

    Completing your application packet:

    In the following order (from top to bottom) you will need to collect and arrange the following documentation.

    • A check or money order for $410 made payable to the "U.S. Department of Homeland Security" See check template here
    • Two (2) recent Passport size photographs with your name and I-94 number printed on the back
    • Completed G-1145
    • Completed I-765
    • Copy of your new I-20 with your STEM Extension request on page 2, signed and dated. (Do not send the original!)
    • Copies of ALL previous I-20's issued to you from the University of New Haven
    • Copy of your current EAD card (OPT Card)
    • Copy of an offer letter (dated within the last 4 months)
    • Copy of passport
    • Copy of your visa
    • I-94 number (found here)
    • Sealed, official transcripts from the University of New Haven
    • Copy of diploma

    Important Notes:

    Once your application is in process you cannot change jobs until you recieve your new STEM EAD card. Changing jobs before receiveing your new STEM EAD card can result in termination of your work authorization.

    Do not send your Form I-983 to USCIS with the rest of your documents. You will submit your Form I-983 to the University and a DSO will upload the information to your SEVIS record.