I initially came to the U.S. in H-4 status as a dependent of my spouse. I completed a bachelor’s degree in computer science, and decided to apply for admission to an MBA program. …

… Once admitted, I changed to F-1 status and completed that degree. I applied and was authorized for the 12-month optional practical training period, which ends in a few weeks. I would like to apply for a 24-month OPT extension, based on my bachelor’s degree in computer science. Is this allowed?


Yes, you can apply for a 24-month STEM extension based on a previous degree completed at a qualifying U.S. institution of higher education, even if you did not complete it in F-1 status. The degree should have been conferred within 10 years before your DSO’s recommendation for the STEM extension. At the time that your DSO makes the recommendation, your prior degree should be designated as a STEM degree and the school where you received your degree should be accredited and certified by SEVP. Do not forget that your employment during the STEM extension must directly relate to your computer science degree and not your MBA, which was the basis for the initial 12-month OPT. (09.Sep.2016)

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