Under the new rule (24 months STEM OPT), an F-1 may be eligible for a STEM extension if he or she holds a prior U.S. degree in a qualifying STEM field, provided that:
- The previously obtained STEM degree is directly related to the OPT opportunity;
- The previously obtained STEM degree was conferred within 10 years of the STEM extension application date; an F-1 cannot qualify merely on the basis of having met degree requirements;
- The previous STEM degree was earned at a U.S. institution that was accredited and certified by the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) to sponsor F-1 students at the time the DSO endorses the I-20 for the 24-month STEM OPT extension;
- The previous STEM degree is in a field listed on the revised STEM designated program list as of the date the DSO endorses the I-20 for a 24-month STEM OPT extension; and
- The F-1 is currently in a period of 12-month OPT based on his or her most recent U.S. degree.
Here’s the screenshot from Study in the States Website.