In an effort to continue to attract the best and brightest international students to study in the United States, today DHS added more science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) designated-degree programs to the list of qualifying student visa extensions.
These newly added STEM designated-degree programs, including pharmaceutical sciences, econometrics and quantitative economics, qualify eligible graduates on student visas for an optional practical training (OPT) extension. OPT allows eligible international students to remain in the United States for up to 12 months while they gain work experience and receive training related to their programs of study.
Students who graduate with a STEM designated degree can remain for an additional 17 months on an OPT STEM extension. You may be eligible for the 17-Month OPT STEM extension 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
- The employer from which you are seeking work uses the E-Verify Program
- You have not already received a 17-month extension of OPT