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International Student and Scholar Services

Employment

OPT STEM Extension

On May 10, 2016, new STEM OPT Extension regulations went into effect which changed the requirements and benefits of this program. For the latest and most complete information on the 24-month STEM OPT extension, refer to the Department of Homeland Security STEM OPT HUB and the USCIS STEM OPT Overview.

You may download our instructions and application to apply for the 24-month OPT Extension for STEM majors [STEM OPT Application].

Students can submit their I-765 application to USCIS up to 90 days before the end date on their EAD and it must be received by USCIS before the current EAD expires.

Students who are on a 17-month STEM extension of OPT are no longer eligible to apply for an additional 7 months of STEM OPT work authorization. The deadline to apply was August 8, 2016 for any student who had at least 150 days of work authorization remaining.

Eligible CIP Codes

Students can determine if their major qualifies for the 24-month extension of OPT by comparing the major printed on their I-20 with the DHS list of eligible CIP Codes. On the I-20, the CIP Code is located on page 1 under Program of Study.

Reporting Requirements

While on STEM OPT, you must continue to meet certain reporting requirements in order to maintain your F-1 status. Failure to report STEM OPT employer details within 10 days of starting a job or changing jobs could result in the termination of your F-1 status by DHS.

When reporting employer information, please email isss@du.edu with the following details and your DU student ID so that we can properly update SEVIS. Per immigration regulations, SEVIS cannot be updated without ALL of the following details.

  • Form I-983 Training Plan
  • Short explanation of less than 1000 characters including spaces (approximately 150-175 words) describing how your employment is related to your coursework and degree at the University of Denver
  • Last date of employment with previous employer (if applicable)

PERIODIC REPORTS AND SELF-EVALUATIONS

Students on STEM OPT are also required to provide updates on their employment every six months based on the start date of the STEM OPT EAD. We will need the following information:

  • Your full legal name, as it appears on your passport
  • Your SEVIS ID number (found in the upper right hand corner of your I-20)
  • Your E-Verify employer's company name
  • The complete work site address where you are currently employed
  • Provide your current residential address.
  • Self-evaluation on Page 5 of Form I-983 [12-month and 24-month reports only]

OTHER CHANGES TO REPORT

You must also report the following information within 10 days to ISSS:

  • Change of residential or mailing address including phone number or email address
  • Change of legal name
  • Change of immigration status
  • Permanent departure from the United States

For an overview of what details need to be reported, please refer to the DHS STEM OPT Reporting Requirements handout.