I am a student in F-1 status. I finished my course of study about a year ago, but still had to complete my thesis. I applied and was authorized for post-completion optional practical training (OPT). …

… My initial 12-month OPT will end next month, but I am still working on my thesis. Do I need to complete my thesis before I may apply for the STEM OPT extension?


An F-1 student who has completed all of his/her program requirements, but for a thesis or dissertation, is eligible to apply for post or pre-completion OPT. Since a STEM OPT extension is a continuation of the post-completion OPT, you may continue working on your thesis during your STEM OPT. Please note that this option is not available if you have been authorized for pre-completion OPT. (12.Sep.2015)

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