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Students and DSOs: The 24-month STEM OPT Extension is Now in Effect

May 10, 2016

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) new 24-month optional practical training (OPT) extension for F-1 students with science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) degrees is in effect starting today, May 10, 2016. This rule replaces the previous 17-month STEM OPT extension.

The new rule includes certain reporting requirements for students, schools and employers. A new one pager on the STEM OPT Hub illustrates how each group must comply.

For guidance specifically related to capturing these new requirements in the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS), visit the SEVIS Help Hub. There, school officials will find:

Remember, all existing 17-month employment authorization documents (EADs) will remain valid until the EAD expires, is terminated or revoked. DHS will not automatically convert 17-month extensions into 24-month extensions. If an eligible 17-month STEM OPT participant wants to apply for the additional seven months of STEM OPT, they have until August 8, 2016, to submit their application to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services

Want to begin learning about the new STEM OPT extension? Watch the SEVP Special Report: STEM OPT webinar recording and read the STEM OPT extension overview on Study in the States.

In the coming days and weeks, we will publish new tools and resources to help students, schools and employers comply with the new rule. Be sure to follow Study in the States on social media so you don’t miss an update!

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