F-1 students can engage in Optional Practical Training during or right after their course of study (that’s directly related to the course of study). Students studying in a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, or Mathematics) can extend their OPT period for an additional period of 17 months.
The USCIS Nebraska Service Center offers the following filing tips for preparing STEM OPT EAD applications:
1. Be sure the student files before their standard post-completion OPT expires. Anything filed after the expiration cannot be approved.
2. Student must have completed all requirements for their degree.
3. On I-765, item #17, list the numerical CIP Code for the student’s degree, the employer’s name as listed in E-Verify, and the E-Verify identification number. Do not list the tax ID number. The E-Verify number is 5 or 6 digits.
4. Include a copy of their current Employment Authorization Card.
5. Include a copy of their Form I-94, Arrival/Departure Card.
6. Include a copy of their SEVIS I-20 which has been endorsed within the past 30 days by the Designated School official on page 1 and 3, and the student on page 1.
7. Submit proof of the completion of studies (degree certificate).
8. Make sure the listed start date is the day after regular post-completion OPT ends and that the end-date is 17 consecutive months after start date.
9. Make sure that “C3C” is notated on Line #16 of the form.