Optional Practical Training STEM Extension
STEM OPT Application Guide
Eligibility for STEM Extension:
The Louisiana Board of Regents decides upon the use of CIP Codes that designate specific STEM fields as determined by USCIS. The University is required to use the code listed for each major on the I-20s of all students admitted to that program. Please refer to the list known as the "STEM Designated Degree Program List." If your major appears on this list, along with the corresponding CIP code (this code can be found on the "Program of Study" section of your I-20, listed by the Major) then you are eligible for a 24 month STEM extension. If the CIP code listed on your I-20 does not appear on the "STEM Designated Degree Program List" then you are NOT eligible for a STEM extension.
- Qualifying Job: Employment must be a paid job, for at least 20 hours per week.
- Qualifying Employer: Employer must be enrolled in E-Verfiy and have an IRS Employer Identification Number (EIN). Student may not be self-employed in order to apply for a 24 month STEM extension.
- Form I-983 Training Plan: The STEM applicant and the employer must complete the Form I-983 Training Plan. Once all sections are complete (excluding page 5), the STEM applicant must either mail or scan and email the completed form to the OIA.
- The OIA can mail the I-20 to the applicant via the U.S. Postal Service through Certified Mail, which will take approximately 3 - 5 business days to be delivered.
- The applicant can also choose to have the I-20 delivered via a courier such as FedEx, DHL or UPS at the applicant's own expense. Please create a student account on eSHipGlobal and create a shipment to have your I-20 delivered to you. Please do not create a shipment on eShipGlobal before contacting the OIA.
- Student's on OPT Post-Completion can apply as early as 90 days before the end date on their Post-Completion EAD card, but applications must be received and receipted by USCIS prior to the EAD post-completion end date.
It takes the OIA approximately 3 days to review the Form I-983 and issue the applicant an I-20 recommending a 24 month STEM extension.
- Please refer to the list known as the "STEM Designated Degree Program List." If your your major appears on this list, along with the corresponding CIP code (this code can be found on the "Program of Study" section of your I-20, listed by the Major) then you are eligible for a 24 month STEM extension.
- The I-20, along with other application documents must be mailed to a USCIS Lockbox facility. Please utilize our STEM application mailing instructions form for directions on where to mail your application to.
Please visit Study in the States STEM OPT Hub for more information on the STEM Extension.