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On Sept. 29, 2020 a U.S. federal district court has issued a nationwide preliminary injunction that prohibits the Department of Homeland Security from enforcing a final rule that was set to increase USCIS filing fees as of Oct. 2, 2020. This means the fee increase for Form I-765 used to apply for Optional Practical Training and STEM Extension will not go into effect on Oct. 2, 2020, as previously announced.
The 24-Month STEM OPT Extension is an additional benefit from United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) that allows international students in F-1 status who receive a bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degree in an approved STEM field to apply for a 24-month extension of their standard 12-month Post-OPT period, twice in a lifetime. This allows international students the opportunity to gain additional off-campus work experience in their field of study after completion of course studies and Post-OPT.
To allow for the 10-day ISSC processing time and the 90-day USCIS processing time, ASU ISSC recommends applying for 24-Month STEM OPT no more than 100 days prior to end date of your Post-OPT. This will maximize your opportunity to receive your EAD card on time.
Submit your application materials to the ISSC through the eForms Self-service Portal (not to be confused with the SEVP Portal) no more than 100 days prior to the end date listed on your Post-OPT EAD card. The ISSC will release your I-20 on or after the 90th day prior to the end date listed on your EAD card.
Please have the following materials ready prior to submitting the e-Form:
*Incomplete applications cannot be processed.
After receiving your 24-Month STEM OPT I-20, mailing instructions, and checklist from the ISSC, mail your document to USCIS within 60 days of the date the ISSC signed your I-20. Applications received after the 60-day signature limit will be denied by USCIS.
You must file the following documents with your application:
1. Payment Form G-1450 (for credit card payments) or
2. Personal or cashier’s check, or money order for $410.00 payable to "US Department of Homeland Security" (do not abbreviate).
Carefully follow all mailing instructions provided to you when submitting your application materials to USCIS, and keep copies of all completed applications for your personal records.
For a comprehensive step by step review of your STEM Extension packet enroll in the Self-Guided STEM Extension Packet Review Canvas course.
*USCIS is temporarily allowing electronically reproduced original signatures during the COVID-19 crisis. However, you must also retain copies of the original documents containing the “wet” signature. USCIS may, at any time, request the original documents, which if not produced, could negatively impact the adjudication of the immigration benefit.
If for any reason you receive your materials back from USCIS or the postal/shipping service, do not resend the materials. Double-check the signature dates on the I-20 and contact ISSC immediately if you need a new or updated form I-20 for the resubmission of the application.
I-765 application should be resent no later than 50 days after the ISSC signature on the I-20.
Students will receive a Notice of Action (i.e., receipt notice) from USCIS within four weeks of applying. If you do not receive a receipt notice from USCIS within four weeks, please contact USCIS to follow up.