The government is poised to meet a February deadline to replace the OPT STEM visa extension, allowing 50,000 students and recent grads to remain in the U.S.
Tens of thousands of foreign-born, American-educated students and recent graduates can breathe a sigh of relief.

Earlier this month, the Department of Homeland Security unveiled an anxiously awaited replacement to its popular student visa program for on-the-job training at science, technology, engineering and math firms: the STEM extension to the "optional practical training" program, or OPT, which a federal judge vacated Aug. 12, leaving as many as 50,000 highly educated STEM workers and their employers in limbo.

On Friday, March 11, 2016 the Department of Homeland Security published a new rule for the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Optional Practical Training (OPT) Extension. This rule goes into effect on May 10, 2016. Please visit the STEM OPT Hub for more information.

Students who graduate with a science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) degree are eligible to remain in the United States for an additional 17 months on an optional practical training (OPT) STEM extension.

You may qualify for an additional 17 months of OPT under the following circumstances:
Your degree for your current period of post-completion OPT is a bachelor’s, master’s or doctoral degree in a STEM program listed on the Department of Homeland Security's STEM designated degree program list.
The employer from which you are seeking work uses the E-Verify Program.


You have not already received a 17-month extension of OPT.