NewsFlash! STEM OPT Special Instructions

The Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) has revised the guidance for 24-month STEM OPT filings. This guidance reflects accommodations for delays during the transition to the new 24-month STEM OPT program. These changes are only applicable to students with optional practical training (OPT) expiration dates prior to May 23, 2016, who are seeking a STEM OPT based upon a prior degree.

Students with OPTs expiring before May 23, 2016 who are seeking a STEM OPT based upon a prior STEM degree do not have enough time to get form I-20 by their filing deadline. These students must file the form I-765 prior to the OPT expiration. The guidance directs such students to include the following statement:

“Due to new regulations, I must apply for the 24-month STEM extension of my OPT before SEVIS supports it. I am eligible based upon a prior degree. I will provide FORM I-20 with the extension recommendation after USCIS requests it.”

This is similar to the guidance provided for other STEM OPT filings that will need to be filed before students will be able to obtain proper I-20 forms from their schools.


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Disclaimer: The information provided here is of a general nature and may not apply to any specific or particular circumstance. It is not to be construed as legal advice nor presumed indefinitely up to date.