Prepare your STEM OPT Application

1.Prepare the documents below for your STEM OPT application.

If you are not in Beaumont, you can communicate with your school adviser via email Students in Beaumont can schedule an appointment if they prefer.    


Below is a list and explanation of the documents you will need for your STEM OPT application. The first document to obtain, however, is your new I-20 with STEM OPT recommendation. If you will apply before May 10, 2016, please start the process by competing the 17 Month STEM Extension application then submit the application and supporting documents to the ISSO. A brief explanation of the relevance of your work to your degree/coursework is also required. If you will apply after May 10, 2016, please also send the Training Plan (Form I-983).
 OPT STEM Extension Request Form
The 24 Month STEM Extension Request Form collects information we will need to recommend
you for the STEM extension.Things to keep in mind:  
  • Students may only apply for the 17-month period if the application will be received by USCIS before May 10, 2016. USCIS will accept these applications and expects to send students a request for further evidence which would allow student to transfer the application from a 17-month request to 24 months. Contact your ISSO Adviser if you receive a request for further evidence.

  • Students must also submit a completed Form I-983Training Plan before the DSO can recommend the STEM OPT extension in SEVIS.

  • Contact your employer to obtain the company's EIN (tax ID number)
Form I-983 Training Plan

The purpose of the Form I-983, a new requirement for 24-month extension, is to ensure that students continue a rigorous training program that builds on the skills obtained as a full time student. The student and their supervisor must agree on the components of the plan as follows: the role of the student in the work place, the goals and objectives of the proposed training, how the employer will provide oversight of the plan, and what set of measures and assessments will be used.  Both student and supervisor must sign this form and send it to the ISSO adviser for review.  

  • Students applying before May 10, 2016 can expect to receive a request from USCIS which will require this form before their STEM OPT application will be approved.
  • Students applying after May 10, 2016 will need to provide this form with appropriate signatures to their ISSO adviser before receiving their new I-20.
  • The SEVIS school code for Lamar University is:  HOU214F00143000
  • Please enter the information below for the Designated School official (DSO) Name and contact information on form I-983:   Marie Graham, 409/880-7260, marie.graham@lamar.edu

A full overview of the new application requirements can be found on The Study in the States hub, the SEVIS student instructions website.   

Form I-765                       
The purpose of the Form I-765 is to request renewal of your permission to accept employment. Do not apply for your STEM extension of OPT using the online USCIS process.  Here are some tips for completing the PDF form:  
  • Type this form, except for the signature box

  • Check the second box: Renewal of my permission to accept employment

  • Question 3: Make certain that the address you put in item #3 will be valid for the next 90 to 120 days as this is where your receipt and EAD will be sent. Mail from USCIS will not be forwarded by the U.S. Postal Service.  If you have any doubt where your mail will be delivered after graduation, we strongly advise that you use the ISSO address: P.O. Box 10078, Beaumont, TX 77710. 

  • Question 10: Number from your online I-94 record.   

  • Question 16: Eligibility code: (c)(3)(c)

  • Question 17: Degree awarded and field of study.  Employers EIN or E-Verify number, as form requests

  • Signature: Sign in blue ink and make sure your signature does not touch any text or line

Photographs
Two recent photographs on thin, glossy paper per instructions from USCIS. Write your name and SEVIS number in pencil on the back of the photos. Do not cut to size or staple.
Check or Money Order
$410 payable to U.S. Department of Homeland Security. We highly recommend a cashier’s check or money order.
Photocopies of
  • All previous I-20s (you will receive one additional I-20 to add to your application after ISSO review)

  • F-1 visa page and passport ID pages (including your photo, passport number and expiration date)

  • All previous employment authorization documents (EAD cards), including your current EAD card.

  • Printed online I-94 record

Proof of STEM Degree
Proof of your STEM degree can include a copy of your Lamar University’s diploma accompanied by an official transcript.  Please contact our Record’s Department for instructions on how to obtain your official transcript.

2. Submit the forms to the International Student Service Office

Students applying after May 10, 2016 for 24-month extension must submit the following documents to the ISSO at least 60 days prior to the expiration of their current employment authorization end date:  

Each student applying for STEM OPT must consult with an ISSO adviser to receive a STEM OPT recommendation. Complete the application forms to the best of your ability and forward to the ISSO. The adviser will review your submission and contact you if s/he has questions. 

3. Receive your new STEM OPT I-20 recommendation

The ISSO will notify you by email and then mail the updated SEVIS I-20 (recommending the STEM OPT extension) to your current US address once the process is complete.  This updated SEVIS I-20 will be submitted by the student with their application (see instructions for Submitting to USCIS).