Students with degrees in the STEM fields (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics)
will first apply for the regular 12 month period of OPT. Then, once you have begun
your first 12 months of OPT, if you meet the criteria detailed by USCIS, you can apply
through the ISO office for your 24 month OPT extension. You must file before your
current OPT expires, however those students that have filed a timely application will
be permitted to continue employment while extension application is pending until a
final decision or 180 days, whichever comes first. The earliest you can file for
the STEM extension is 90 days before your current OPT expires.
Before you Apply -
Please request an official transcript from the Registrar's Office. This takes at least 2 weeks to process so plan ahead! When submitting your STEM OPT
application, you should include the unopened transcript and a copy of your diploma.
To Apply -
Bring or e-mail the following to the International Services Office (email@example.com):
1. *NEW FORM* Copy of completed form I-983 - you should be able to use the add text tool to type the information on the pdf.
IMPORTANT: If you were hired through a consulting company, sections 5 and 6 should
be filled out by the work site NOT the consulting company. Click here for help filling out the I-983 (University of New Haven Example) or find the official government tutorial here. DO NOT FILL OUT THE SELF-EVALUATION SECTION (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. **Questions on #11? click here for which USCIS Service center approved your OPT application
3. Copy of current EAD card (post completion OPT card or 17 month STEM OPT card)
4. Short (3- 4 sentences) on how your job is related to what you studied at the University
of New Haven - THIS IS NOT THE SAME AS YOUR JOB OFFER LETTER. Your I-20 will not be processed if
you do not send this information.
5. Copy of Offer Letter (dated within the last 4 months and stating that you are still
employed at the company) for your e-verified employer. ONCE YOU SEND OUT YOUR APPLICATION YOU CANNOT CHANGE JOBS UNTIL YOU RECEIVE THE NEW
University of New Haven
International Services Office
300 Boston Post Road
West Haven, CT, 06516
Telephone: (203) 932-7475
Fax: (203) 932-6054
Your New I-20
The ISO will prepare a new I-20 for you. In most cases, your I-20 will be ready in
1 week. We will notify you via e-mail or by phone once it is ready. If you are located
close to the University of New Haven, you may come to ISO to pick it up or you may
send a friend to pick it up for you (please e-mail us their name). If you are located
far away from the University of New Haven, create an account at www.fedex.com/us and e-mail us the shipping label.
With your new I-20 you will receive a checklist of the documents, in order, that need
to be included in the application you will mail to USCIS. The documents are also listed
How to mail your application to USCIS:
Use a clip to keep the documents together and create a packet in the following order
(top to bottom):
- Check or money order for $410 payable to U.S. Department of Homeland Security: See check template here
- Two (2) Passport size photographs with your name and I-94 number printed in pencil
- G-1145 - this allows USCIS to text or email you your receipt number
- Completed I-765 form
- Copy of pages 1 and 2 of your new STEM extension I-20 (Do not send the original! Make sure you sign your new I-20 before making a copy.)
- Copies of ALL previous University of New Haven I-20s
- Copy of your current EAD card (OPT Card)
- Job offer letter (dated within the last 4-5 months)
- Copy of passport, visa and I-94 number (found here)
- Unopened official transcripts from the University of New Haven
- Copy of diploma
Mail the completed OPT application packet to the USCIS Service Center that corresponds
to the state you listed on your I-765. The addresses below are for FedEx or UPS only! If you want to send your application via USPS please look here for the correct addresses.
Must report to the International Services Office (firstname.lastname@example.org) within 10 days of any change of:
- Legal name
- Residential or mailing address
- Employer name
- Employer address, and/or
- Loss of employment
- Must make a validation report to the DSO every 6 months starting from the date the
extension begins and ending when the student's F-1 status ends, the student changes
educational levels at the same school, the student transfers to another school, or
the 17-month OPT extension ends, whichever is first. The validation is a confirmation
that the student's name and address, employer name and address, and/or loss of employment
is correct. The report is due to the DSO within 10 business days of each reporting
- 12 month self-evaluation - this is important to submit on time as your SEVIS record can be terminated if you
do not submit this!
- 24 month self-evaluation - this is important to submit on time as your SEVIS record can be terminated if you
do not submit this!
*Please send a copy of your new EAD card to the ISO after you receive it!