Application Instructions

IMPORTANT UPDATE: Effective February 12, 2018, there will be changes to the Optional Practical Training I-20 Request Process. Click to read more.

Fee Information for STEM OPT Extension I-20

Applicants for STEM OPT Extension will be prompted to pay a $200 STEM OPT Extension Administration Fee. This fee supports OIS services related to DHS reporting requirements and maintenance of status throughout the period of request and STEM OPT Extension employment. Extended services provided to STEM OPT Extension students include I-20 travel endorsements, review and processing of mandated reports, and continued access to advisors for questions pertaining to your F-1 status and STEM OPT Extension employment matters.

* This fee is non-refundable and must be paid in order for OIS to begin processing the STEM OPT Extension I-20.

Students Applying Based on Current STEM Degree

  • Login to the OPT I-20 Request System
  • Click “Create A New Request”
  • Select I-20 Type: STEM OPT Extension
  • Complete the STEM OPT Extension I-20 Request Information
  • Upload copies of the following documents (PDFs only):

Students Applying Based on a Previously Obtained STEM Degree

Email optstem@usc.edu and OIS will provide instructions on how to apply for the STEM OPT Extension I-20.

  • In the Subject line of the email indicate “Applying for STEM OPT on a Previously Obtained STEM Degree
  • In the body of the email provide the following:
    • Name
    • 10 Digit Student ID
    • Current OPT I-20 degree level (i.e. Masters)
    • Current OPT I-20 major (i.e. Business Administration)
    • Degree level you will use to apply for the STEM OPT Extension (i.e. Bachelors)
    • Major you will use to apply for the STEM OPT Extension (i.e. Mathematics)
  • Please allow 2-3 business days for OIS to respond to your email
  • Please note: You will be required to pay a $200 STEM OPT Extension Administration Fee at the time you submit STEM OPT Extension I-20 Request to OIS. This fee supports OIS services related to DHS reporting requirements and maintenance of status throughout the period of request and STEM OPT Extension employment. Extended services provided to STEM OPT Extension students include I-20 travel endorsements, review and processing of mandated reports, and continued access to advisors for questions pertaining to your F-1 status and STEM OPT Extension employment matters.

* This fee is non-refundable and must be paid in order for OIS to begin processing the STEM OPT Extension I-20.

Application Filing Period and Deadlines

    • USCIS accepts STEM OPT Applications as early as 90 days prior to the OPT EAD expiration date.
    • Students must mail the Form I-765 and supporting documents to USCIS within 60 days from the date OIS recommended the STEM OPT Extension in SEVIS.
    • USCIS must receive your application packet before your 12 month OPT EAD expires.