• 17 month STEM OPT Extension without finishing Thesis

    USCIS has released a new policy that F-1 students engaging in post-completion OPT are eligible for a 17-month STEM extension even if they have not yet completed the thesis requirement or equivalent for the STEM degree when all other requirements are satisfied. This new policy is effect now until further notice.

    17 month STEM OPT Extension without finishing Thesis

    The purpose of this policy memorandum (PM) is to clarify the eligibility requirements for a 17-month
    extension of Post-Completion OPT for F-1 students enrolled in STEM degree programs.

    Can a student in a graduate-level program who has completed all program requirements, aside from thesis or equivalent, apply for either pre-completion OPT or post-completion OPT?

    Yes, a student who only has the thesis or equivalent remaining may either apply for pre- completion OPT or post-completion OPT while completing the thesis/dissertation.
    if a student in this situation applies for post-completion OPT, he or she:
    Would be eligible for the cap gap extension.
    May apply for the 17-month extension if otherwise eligible. [emphasis added]
    Would be subject to the unemployment provisions.
    Would be unable to receive an extension of his or her course of study.

    For CPT, OPT Guidance visit MSinUS CPT/OPT Articles >>

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    OPT STEM Extension

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