Foreign students studying in the STEM field (science, technology, engineering, and math) at a university in the United States are given an Optional Practical Training (OPT) period of 12 months upon graduation. However, it’s common for individuals of F-1 visa status to run out of OPT time and work authorization due to a lack of available employment visas. In order to gain more time and experience in their field of study, F-1 students can apply for a 17 month extension of their OPT time, totaling 29 months of post-graduate work. This also gives companies more time to obtain an H-1B visa for the employee.
If you’re a student seeking a STEM extension, the dedicated attorneys at the immigration law firm of Berd & Klauss, PLLC will help. Located in New York City, the immigration lawyers have extensive experience handling a variety of immigration issues. When applying for a STEM extension, there are very specific requirements for eligibility. Upon graduation, foreign students are issued a document that contains a code for their degree program, which must also be present on the official list of STEM degrees in order for the student to be eligible for an extension.
Students must apply for an extension within 120 days of the initial OPT period’s end date. The student must also be employed or have an offer of employment in order to be eligible. Furthermore, your employer must be registered with the E-Verify employment verification system, which is operated by the USCIS. The immigration attorneys at Berd & Klauss, PLLC will work closely with you to determine your eligibility and help you obtain an extension for your OPT. Visit the immigration law firm online for more information.