STEM OPT Extension

If you completed your degree in a STEM field – Science, Technology, Engineering or Mathematics – you may be eligible for an additional 24 months of Practical Training.


  • You must have completed your bachelor’s degree in a STEM field that appears on the DHS STEM Designated Degree Program List.
  • You must be currently on your initial 12-month post-completion Optional Practical Training
  • You must be working at least 20 hours per week
  • You must be employed (not a volunteer) by an employer who is enrolled in E-Verify and has an IRS Employer Identification Number (EIN). The employer must also have sufficient resources and personnel available to provide the training specified in the Form I-983. Please note that employment through a placement agency for assignment to a client is not acceptable.

STEM majors at Pomona College are

  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Cognitive Science
  • Computer Science
  • Economics (Econometrics)
  • Environmental Analysis
  • Geology
  • Mathematics
  • Molecular Biology
  • Neuroscience
  • Physics
  • Psychological Science


When can I apply for the extension?

Up to 90 days BEFORE the expiration of your post-completion OPT. Example: If your OPT will expire July 15, the application for extension can be made beginning April 16.

How long does it take to get the extension approved?

USCIS processing can take up to 180 days past the expiration date on your first EAD card. However, your status and work authorization are extended during that 180-day processing period.

Will I get a new EAD card?

Yes, when the extension is approved, a new EAD card will be mailed to you.

Can I change my employer after I apply, but before my extension is approved?

Yes, but you would need to prepare a new I-983 Training Plan with the new employer to submit to the ISA. Then a new I-20 would be prepared and sent to USCIS to amend your application.

Can I change my employer after my extension is approved?