STEM OPT 24-Month Extension Final Rule

On March 11th, 2016, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) published its final rule to strengthen and enhance the optional practical training (OPT) program for F-1 international students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields.

The new STEM OPT extension is a 24-month period of temporary training that directly relates to an F-1 student’s program of study in an approved STEM field and effectively replaces the 17‑month STEM OPT extension.

The 17-month STEM OPT regulations remain in effect through May 9, 2016. The 2016 STEM OPT 24-month extension final rule is effective beginning May 10, 2016.

Please check the following link to see the updated OPT Extension Information.

STEM OPT 24-Month Extension Guidelines

Students are encouraged to read the information to be informed regarding the change. Additionally, the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) will host a live webinar ( for stakeholders on Thursday, April 14, 2016 from 2:00 – 3:00 p.m. ET that will discuss the new rule. This webinar is free and open to the public. SEVP encourages both F-1 students and school officials to participate.

​Students are welcome to contact the Office regarding the this new policy. We are here to answer any questions you may have!