24 Months STEM OPT Extension application process is going to be a pain in the neck for some. Could you share your concerns, problems faced in the comments section? You can find few difficult situations faced by students below.
The new rule came into effect on May 10, 2016. While it comes with additional seven more months than previous 17 months STEM OPT Extension, it also comes with the additional requirement to submit I-983 – Training Plan for STEM OPT Students.
As of May 10, 2016:
- If your 17 Months OPT application is pending, you will receive RFE to submit I-983 and New I-20
- If you are applying for 24 months, you should send I-983 along with other documents.
Students are scrambling to apply for 24 Months STEM OPT Extension. I use the word “scrambling” because completing the I-983 form is a challenging task for all involved parties – students on OPT, 17 Months STEM OPT, Employer, Manager and DSO, who would have to review it.
Lack of understanding of new 24 Months STEM OPT Extension Rules. The fact is most students were happy to see 17 months of STEM was extended to 24 months ignoring the details of the new rule. With new rule now in effect, you should send time to read and understand the rule.
Hi Raghu, Thanks for your video. I am hired through an american consulting company (not a desi consulting). If according to your video I cannot apply for 24 months stem extension, Can I apply for 17 months? I am not sure. Also, Can you share the link where USCIS has mentioned about consulting firms and not being able to apply for STEM through them.
Spend time to educate yourself with new 24 months STEM OPT Extension rules and requirements.
One person said, his employer is not willing to sign the form.
Thank you for your guidance all this time we really appreciate it. I have applied for OPT extension and it pending now, i work for a consulting company,its not an Indian firm but it can be categorized a Consulting Firm. They are not willing to sign i983.
My OPT ended on May 12, how much time i got to join in a University without any status issues ,i intend to withdraw my OPT extension application?
Later while i am in university can i apply for OPT Extension (documents from previous Masters degree )if i get a full time job while i am in CPT and employer is STEM Extension eligible,i am asking because i read somewhere that its possible to request STEM extension from previous stem degree.
If you are going to have to apply for STEM Extension, then find coworkers who have already worked with your employer and their manager. Perhaps your manager can talk with another manager to learn how they crafted the training plan.
I head that NCSU is charging $200 to issue new I-20 for STEM OPT Extension ( and review the I-983 training plan).
Here’s an another situation from UT Arlington ( taken from a UTA Facebook Group).
DSO are going to have a difficult job of reviewing the Training Plan. It’s not going to be submitted with the application, but remain with the school. DSO’s are not attorney’s, and this is added job responsibility for them to review and approve your I-983 training plan. There will be inconsistency among DSO within the same school on how they approach this.
Problem: Consulting Jobs
In the final published rule, DHS added a comment about types of employment allowed.
Comments say that that, it restricts STEM OPT students working as contractors via consulting companies from requesting 24 Months STEM OPT Extension. Check the video for more details to explain this – I983, Consulting Jobs, and Self-Employment.
I know for a fact that some students on F1 don’t even make an attempt to find a full-time, direct hire job. We don’t know what would be the impact of this 24 Months STEM OPT Extension Rule if you are working as a contractor.
One DSO said that, if you have a supervisor from working for your employer ( hiring company) in the same location as your client, then they would approve the 24 months STEM OPT I-20.
But, DSO is not USCIS adjudicators. USCIS are going to follow the rule, not the approval of I-983 from DSO.
As you can see in the above example, DSO would have a varying degree of understanding about how to interpret the rule and approve new 24 Months STEM OPT Extension.
- Students are finding it challenging to complete form I-983
- Some employer is not agreeing to sing the I-983 form
- DSO’s have varying degree of knowledge about reviewing I-93 form
- Expect some bumpy road when it comes to 24 months STEM OPT Extension application
Do you have problems? Share your experience below.