Stem OPT Extension



Updated June 8, 2022

You’re reading an excerpt of Admitted by Soundarya Balasubramani. Written by an Ivy League graduate from India, this is the proven guide for students worldwide looking to pursue undergraduate or graduate study abroad in the U.S., Canada, or Europe. Purchase for instant access to the guide and other exclusive resources—including sample SOPs, sample resumes, scholarship lists, and a private community with other readers.

If you remember, in the chapter Choosing the Universities, we introduced something called a STEM OPT extension. Let’s recap once more: if you are an F1 student earning a degree in Science, Technology, Engineering, or Mathematics (STEM), you may be eligible for a 24-month extension to your employment authorization in the U.S.

You can find a list of all STEM verified majors on the Immigration and Customs Enforcement website.*

thinkIf you’re wondering why someone would apply for a STEM OPT Extension, here’s why:

  • In most cases, it’s to give themselves more time to have another shot at the H1B lottery (remember, it’s a lottery system!).

  • To further gain valuable practical training to eventually apply for another nonimmigrant visa, such as the O1 (which does not involve a lottery).

  • To further gain valuable practical training before returning to their home country.

Booking Your Interview

Alright, that’s enough information on your visa. Let’s dive into your interview now. By now, you must have gotten the I-20 from your university. If you haven’t, please contact your university’s ISSO to get it as soon as possible. Without it, you cannot proceed forward.

Before you book your visa appointment, make sure you complete the following:*

  • confirm your enrollment at the university

  • You’re reading a preview of an online book. Buy it now for lifetime access to expert knowledge, including future updates.
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