F-1 STEM OPT iPenn Request

  1. Log in with your Pennkey. You will find "STEM OPT Extension Request" under Student Services in the left menu.

  2. Complete the STEM OPT Extension Request, uploading a completed Form I-983. You will be prompted to pay a $175 ($170 if received by June 30, 2019.) ISSS Processing Fee.

  3. Within 3-5 business days, ISSS will notify you that your new STEM OPT I-20 is ready for pickup or shipping. During the peak / high-volume period, processing may take longer.


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If you are currently on post-completion OPT and applying for STEM OPT:

  • You may file the  STEM OPT application up to 90 days before the current OPT end date.  

  • The STEM OPT application must be received at USCIS before the end of the current OPT period.

  • The STEM  OPT application must be received by USCIS within 60 days of the date on which ISSS issues an OPT I-20.  

  • Processing times for OPT applications can be found on the USCIS website.

  • In general, an OPT application will take three months to be approved.

  • Your work authorization is extended for up to 180 days while the STEM extension application is pending.

  • After submitting the eform in iPenn, you will be prompted to pay the $170 ISSS Processing Fee.

  • If you later decide not to mail your OPT application (Form I-765 plus supporting documentation) to USCIS for any reason, please notify an ISSS advisor immediately so that we may timely cancel your OPT recommendation in SEVIS.  Failure to inform an ISSS advisor that you are not applying for OPT can cause problems in the future.

  • If you have not received an I-797 Receipt Notice (with a case number from USCIS) within 2-6 weeks from the date your OPT application was received at USCIS, meet with an ISSS advisor and bring a copy of delivery confirmation.

  • While OPT is pending, we strongly advise against changing the address listed on Form 1-765. USClS has not been able to process change of address notifications properly. Changing your address while OPT is pending may result in being required to file a new OPT application with a new fee if your documents are lost. We suggest you use the address of someone who can receive mail on your behalf – remember to put “c/o”, followed by the person’s name and address, on Line 3 of Form I-765. The US Postal Service will not forward USCIS mail.

  • If you receive a Request for Evidence (RFE), please consult an ISSS advisor. 

  • Your OPT will be automatically terminated when you begin study at another educational level or transfer to another school.

  • If you find any errors by USCIS on your OPT EAD card, please inform ISSS to assist with a correction.

  • Please inform ISSS of any immigration status change immediately. 

Once you have obtained your OPT I-20 from ISSS you should submit your USCIS Application.