7 months stem opt extension application
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What Happens When You are Not Eligible for 7 Months of STEM OPT Extension?

What should you do if you are not eligible for 7 Months of STEM OPT Extension?

Maybe the questions should be, you are eligible, but you are working as a consultant, and your DSO will not issue new I-20.

Maybe you are going to run out of time to get the I-983 training plan.

Watch the video at the end of this article to learn more. This blog post and the video was inspired two emails that I received (listed below) from two STEM OPT applicants.

In the previous video, I spoke about 4 problems faced by STEM OPT applicants. This article is an extension of the STEM OPT application issues faced by students with the focus on the role of your DSO in approving 7 months STEM OPT Extension or 24 Months STEM OPT Extension.

DSO stands for Designated School Officials. They are responsible maintain your I-20 and SEVIS Record. Here’s the list of steps (in order) to follow to apply for STEM OPT Extension

  • Complete Employee part of I-983
  • Complete the Supervisor Section
  • Complet ethe Employer Section
  • Submit it to your DSO
  • DSO Reviews and Approves your Training Plan
  • DSO issues New I-20 (7 or 24 months STEM OPT Extension)
  • You apply for STEM OPT with USCIS

[x_alert type=”info”]P.S. You are not required to submit the I-983 training plan to USCIS. DSO will be holding onto your Training Plan. But, USCIS could ask for the training plan via an RFE (during STEM OPT Processing or H-1B Processing). [/x_alert]

First Email: Laid Off 

I have 17 months OPT with me as of now. To apply for that additional 7 months, I have been asked to turn in RFE like form I983 etc. & all this has to be turned in before August 8th. Unfortunately, I am being removed from employment in exactly 1 week, and my employer refuses to fill in this form. I still have two months and 7 days as of 5/31/2016. I know probably I need to address this to an attorney but can I turn in the form using a consultancy’s help(I hate being part of consultancies but in this case I don’t want to miss those 7 months which would help me get another chance at the visa in 2017)

Second Email – Day 1 CPT University

I am currently on 17 month OPT STEM extension, and I have not received my H1B receipt number yet, so I think my H1B was not picked in the lottery. Since I work for a client company through a consulting firm , my DSO said that I cannot get I20 to apply for 7 additional months, and since there has to be at least 150 days on my EAD to apply for this, I need to find a full time by June 4 to since my application has to reach USCIS by that date, but it is impossible since I have only 4 days. I want to continue working. I want to know if I can transfer to another university and enroll in an associated course and if they give CPT then can I work on it and later on after getting H1B can I do a change of status. Please let me know ASAP if there are any other options as well for me to continue my work in the USA.


7 Months STEM OPT Extension

Here’s the video analysis of above the emails and what DSO’s are thinking about approving 24 months and 7 months STEM OPT  when working as a contractor for a consulting company.

Summary of the Video:

  • Impact of future students planning to study in the USA
  • Impact of admission and recruitment due to STEM OPT policies
  • Role of DSO’s in approving new I-20 for STEM OPT Extension
  • Problems faced by students with STEM OPT  Rule

Here’re few comments that were posted in the above video’s comments page.


stem opt consultant approval dso

stem opt change employer i983

Solution to Your Problems:

In the end, you need a solution to your problem and if you can change your DSO decision.

Everyone is going through a learning process. But, if you need certainty, you should consult an attorney and maybe forward that email to your DSO if attorney’s answer differs from your DSO.  If you are looking for an attorney to help you, check Ask An Attorney section (under services) to post your questions.

Over to You:

I’m sure there’s going to be several unique scenarios when it comes to STEM OPT Application processing and it’s going to present various challenges to DSO’s more than anyone else. Maybe schools should hire Immigration Attorney’s as DSO’s 🙂

What is your experience with your DSO? Please list the scenario and school name in the comments below.

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  1. I missed the deadline Aug 8th for additional 7 months, is there any way that I can apply for that now?

  2. Hello Raghu, I have a different issue. I am currently working in a company as full time engineer with my first year of OPT. Now I am ready to apply for the STEM extension and my company would fill in the required forms with a training plan.
    My question is if I quit my job after applying for extension and move to a new company do i have to submit a new application or the existing application would still work even for the new company which i am going to move to.

    Can you put some light on this issue where an individual moves out of a company after submitting the opt extension application.

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