Already have the STEM OPT Extension or waiting for authorization?
See the STEM FAQ or STEM OPT Requirements.

Who Can Apply for STEM OPT?

The Department of Homeland Security has pre-selected specific STEM fields that are eligible to apply for the STEM OPT extension. You can compare the CIP code and major name on your I-20, to the eligible program list. At UW Bothell, if you studied in one of these majors, you are eligible:

School of Business:

  • Business: Supply Chain Management Option

School of IAS:

  • Conservation & Restoration Science
  • Earth System Science
  • Environmental Studies

School of STEM:

  • Applied Computing,  Computer Engineering, Computing & Software Systems, Computer Science & Software Engineering, Cyber Security Engineering
  • Biology, Bio-Chemistry, Chemistry, Electrical Engineering, Mathematics, Mechanical Engineering,
    and Physics
  • Climate Science & Policy
  • Interactive Media Design

How to Apply for the STEM OPT

USCIS must receive your application before your current 12-month OPT expires. You are eligible to apply up to 90 days prior to the end of your Post-completion OPT.

  1. Request your STEM OPT recommendation I-20 at the ISS Portal.
  2. Submit your I-765 application online using category (c)(3)(c).

You will need

For the I-20 recommendation

For the I-765

  • A new 2×2 digital passport photo
    • Do not use a previous photo, use a new photo. If the same photo is used in any government document, your application may be denied. 
  • ​A digital image of your passport identification page or the front and back of your previous EAD
    • We recommend uploading both
    • You must be able to clearly read the information in the image.
    • Include the extension page of your passport if you have one.
  • Current I-94 Arrival/Departure Record (PDF) 
    • Access your I-94 record at I-94 Website.
    • You do not need the travel history page.
    • Check the last arrival date on your I-94 matches your records.
    • If the arrival date is incorrect or you cannot access your I-94, please contact ISS.
  • A PDF of your most recent I-20 with your STEM OPT Extension on page 2 
    • If you do not upload the correct I-20, your application will be rejected. 
  • If your STEM eligible degree was not earned at UWB, contact your previous school to obtain documentation to verify their accreditation information. 

Information for Employers

Study in the States has great resources to help employers. Please make sure to review it carefully. If you have any questions, please email

Application Procedure

  • Discuss with your employer about your interest to apply for the STEM OPT extension. 
  • Review and collect all application documents (There is a checklist in your portal). 
    • ISS must receive a completed and signed copy of the I-983 training plan (online in this request).
    • The information from the I-983 will be used to issue your STEM OPT extension I-20.
  • Apply for OPT, filing online at myUSCIS
    • You will use your existing myUSCIS account. 
      • ​If you do not already have one from your OPT application, you will need to sign up for one. 
    • ​You can save your application at any point and return to complete it later if needed.
    • You are applying for STEM OPT Extension (c)(3)(C).
    • ISS can help you in person or via Zoom if you have questions.
  • Track your OPT application 
    • USCIS will email you a receipt for the application once you have submitted it. 
    • Use your receipt number to check the status of your application here.
    • If your application is missing information, a “Request for Evidence (RFE)” will be mailed to the address provided in your application.
  • ​Receive approval from USCIS & your new EAD 
    • USCIS processing time varies depending on the processing center that adjudicates your application.
    • You receive an automatic 180 day extension for your existing authorization, allowing you to keep working while waiting for your STEM extension approval.
      • You are expected to be working in your STEM position from the day following your OPT expiration, even if you are still awaiting approval for the STEM extension. 

I-983 Training Plan

Your  I-983 training plan, completed by you and your employer must be complete (except for the 12 & 24 month evaluations) to receive an I-20 with a STEM OPT extension recommendation. Your 12 & 24 month extensions must be submitted to ISS on time to remain on active OPT. 

I-983 Section 1

  • Name of School Recommending STEM OPT.
    • University of Washington Bothell
  • Name of School Where STEM Degree Was Earned.
    • If you are applying for STEM OPT extension based on a degree earned at UWB, then write “University of Washington Bothell”.
    • If your STEM degree was earned elsewhere, you will need to list the name of that school.
  • SEVIS School Code of School Recommending STEM OPT
    • Check page 1 of your I-20. Your school code will be either SEA214F00005000 or SEA214F00005001.
  • DSO Name and Contact Information
    • Write the name, phone number and UW email address of an international student advisor.
  • Student SEVIS ID
    • Your SEVIS ID is listed at the top of your I-20
    • It begins with the letter “N” followed by ten digits.
  • STEM OPT Requested Period.
    • The start date is the day after your current OPT ends
    • The end date is two years after the STEM OPT start date.
      • For example:
        • Current 12-month OPT: 07/15/2020 – 07/14/2021
        • STEM OPT: 07/15/2021 – 07/14/2023
  • Qualifying Major and Classification of Instructional Programs (CIP) Code.
    • This information is listed on page one of your I-20 under ‘Program of Study’.
    • The CIP code is six digits long (00.0000).
    • Include the name of your degree as written on your I-20.
  • Date Awarded
    • Found on your official UW Bothell transcript.
  • Based on Prior Degree?
    • Select “No” if your application is based on your UW Bothell degree.
    • Select “Yes” if your application is based on a prior STEM eligible degree from another institution.
  • Employment Authorization Number
    • This is the USCIS# listed on your current EAD

I-983 Section 2

  • Completed by you

I-983 Section 3 ~ 6

  • Completed by your employer

I-983 Evaluations

  • Submitted after 12 and 24 months of STEM OPT
  • Do not prefill or sign more than 30 days before submitting