On April 8, 2008, the federal regulations governing Optional Practical Training (OPT) were revised to allow certain students to apply for a one-time 17-month extension of their OPT authorization.

Please note: The April 8th rule is an interim final rule, which means that it is effective as of 4/8/08, but may change based on comments that were submitted by June 9, 2008. While we do not expect many changes, any of the information in this rule is subject to change. For the moment, however, this is the accurate process as provided by the Student Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

Who is Eligible

In order to be eligible for an extension, you must meet both of the following criteria:

  • You must have completed a degree program in a STEM field
  • Your employer must be registered with EVerify

STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) Fields

Only students who completed degrees in STEM fields are eligible to apply for an extension. These major fields of study have been specifically idenfitifed in the new rule by their CIP code.

 Each OSU major has a corresponding CIP code, which is assigned by the Office of the Registrar according to federal educational guidelines. The major fields of study that are included in STEM are:
  • Actuarial Science. CIP Code 52.1304.
  • Computer Science Applications: CIP Codes 11.xxxx (except Data Entry/Microcomputer Applications, which are CIP Codes 11.06xx)
  • Engineering. CIP Codes 14.xxxx.
  • Engineering Technologies. CIP Codes 15.xxxx.
  • Biological and Biomedical Sciences. CIP Codes 26.xxxx.
  • Mathematics and Statistics. CIP Codes 27.xxxx.
  • Military Technologies. CIP Codes 29.xxxx.
  • Physical Sciences. CIP Codes 40.xxxx.
  • Science Technologies. CIP Codes 41.xxxx.
  • Medical Scientist (MS, PhD). CIP Code 51.1401

Please remember that if your major is not in one of the STEM fields, then you are not eligible to apply for an extension of your OPT benefit under the new rule.

Registration with EVerify

In order to be eligible for an extension of your OPT benefit, your employer must be registered with EVerify. EVerify is a government program used to verify the eligibility of non-immigrants to work in the U.S. Registration in this system is voluntary. Please contact your employer to ask if they are registered in this program.

How to Apply for an Extension

To apply for an extension of your OPT benefit, you will need to request an I-20 with a new OPT recommendation from ISFS. You will submit this I-20 to USCIS along with form I-765 and other supporting documentation as you did with your original OPT application.

ISFS is currently developing a form for students to request a new OPT I-20. In the meantime, if you would like to apply for an OPT extension, please send an email to intl.advisor@oregonstate with the following information:

  • Employer name
  • Employer address
  • Supervisor's name
  • Supervisor's job title
  • Supervisor's telephone number
  • Supervisor's email address
  • Your job title
  • Brief description of your job duties
  • Your email address

OSU employees are prohibited from releasing student's non-directory email addresses without their permission. You will therefore need to include a statement in your email giving our office permission to release this information for your OPT extension request.

If your OPT authorization began before your program end date, we will need to request a SEVIS system correction before we can issue you a new I-20 for the extension application. This request may take several weeks to complete. An international student advisor will notify you if a correction is required after you request an OPT extension I-20.