Apply for OPT STEM Extension
Students with degrees in the STEM fields (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) are eligible for an additional 24 months of work authorization after the completion of the first 12 months of their Optional Practical Training (OPT). STEM Extension requests must be filed before the expiration of the 12 month OPT period. Students who file a timely application are permitted to continue employment while the extension application is pending until a final decision is made or for an additional 180 days, whichever comes first. The earliest a student may apply for a STEM Extension is 90 days before the expiration of their 12 months of OPT.
Students interested in applying for the STEM Extension please read thoroughly and carefully the information provided below before contacting the International Services Office.
Students must submit the following documents to the International Services Office to request an I-20 reflecting a STEM Extension request:
2. Copy of completed Form I-983
- Instructions for filling out a Form I-983 can be found here: Official Government Tutorial Here (Do not fill out the self-evaluation section on pages 6 & 7)
3. Copy of completed Form I-765
4. Copy of current EAD card
5. Copy of Offer Letter (dated within the last 4 months)
Please email all items as PDFs in a signal email to ISO@newhaven.edu. It will take five business days to process your I-20, and the DSO will reach out to you with any additional questions they may have.
Completing your application packet:
In the following order (from top to bottom) you will need to collect and arrange the following documentation.
- A check or money order for $410 made payable to the "U.S. Department of Homeland Security" See check template here
- Two (2) recent Passport size photographs with your name and I-94 number printed on the back
- Completed G-1145
- Completed I-765
- Copy of your new I-20 with your STEM Extension request on page 2, signed and dated. (Do not send the original!)
- Copies of ALL previous I-20's issued to you from the University of New Haven
- Copy of your current EAD card (OPT Card)
- Copy of an offer letter (dated within the last 4 months)
- Copy of passport
- Copy of your visa
- I-94 number (found here)
- Sealed, official transcripts from the University of New Haven
- Copy of diploma
Changing Jobs on STEM OPT
It is possible to change jobs on STEM OPT, but you should not do so until your STEM OPT is approved.
To change jobs you will need:
- New I-983 form
- Old I-983 form (page 5 filled out)
- New job offer letter
Please send all items together to ISO@newhaven.edu.
Reporting on STEM OPT
You are required to report every six months while on STEM OPT. The Portal will remind you when to report, but it is ultimately your responsibility to report on time.
- 6-Month Report: send ISO an email with any job or address changes
- 12-Month Report: fill out the first part of page 5 of the I-983 and have your supervisor sign it
- 18-Month Report: send ISO an email with any job or address changes
- 24-Month Report: fill out the second part of page 5 of the I-983 and have your supervisor sign it.
Once your application is in process you cannot change jobs until you receive your new STEM EAD card. Changing jobs before receiveing your new STEM EAD card can result in termination of your work authorization.
Do not send your Form I-983 to USCIS with the rest of your documents. You will submit your Form I-983 to the University and a DSO will upload the information to your SEVIS record.