I have recently applied for a STEM extension of my OPT. …

… My initial period of 12-months on OPT has just ended, but I am still working on my thesis, which I need to complete before I am able to receive my diploma. I understand that I was able to qualify for the initial OPT period because I had completed all of my program requirements except for the thesis. Will I also qualify for the STEM extension if my thesis requirement has not been met yet?


Yes, you should still qualify for the STEM extension even if you have not completed your thesis yet. The USCIS recently indicated in the Interim Policy Guidance on 17-Month STEM OPT Extensions, “F-1 students who are currently in a period of post-completion OPT while completing his or her thesis and has completed all other course requirements for his or her STEM degree, is eligible to apply for a 17- month STEM extension, notwithstanding the fact that the student has not yet completed the thesis requirement or equivalent for his or her STEM degree.” (25.Oct.2013)

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