I am an F-1 student working on the first-year OPT. My degree, which is the basis for my current OPT, is not in a designated STEM field. …

… However, I previously obtained a degree in a STEM field in the U.S. while I was in H-4 status. Can I apply for a 24-month STEM OPT extension based on that degree?


Yes, you may use your previous STEM degree as a basis for your 24-month OPT extension, even if you obtained that degree while you were not in F-1 status, subject to several additional requirements. Specifically, your employment opportunity should be directly related to your STEM degree, which has been assigned a CIP code designated by the DHS under the May 10, 2016 STEM OPT rule; the degree should have been conferred within ten years prior to your application; and the school where the degree was obtained should be accredited and SEVP-certified at the time the DSO makes a STEM OPT extension recommendation in SEVIS. (20.May.2016)

Questions frequently reach us from students on a variety of matters. This is a sample question, answered by an attorney in our firm. More information can be found in the student section of MurthyDotCom.

Access more FAQs here.


Copyright © 2016, MURTHY LAW FIRM. All Rights Reserved


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.