17-month STEM OPT Extension

17-month STEM OPT Extension rule ended on May 9, 2016. Student can no longer apply for it.


PLEASE NOTE: For STEM 17-Month OPT Extension Applicants, you MUST have your employment verification letter reviewed by ISS before your OPT Extension appointment.

For students looking to apply for OPT Extension, please scan and email your employment verification letter to opt@bridgeport.edu.

For details on what the letter should include, please review the sample template online.

Please allow adequate time for the letters to be reviewed.


  • At the time of filing, you are in a valid period of OPT
  • You must submit your application in a timely fashion (see next section)
  • You have not previously received a 17-month OPT extension after earning a STEM degree
  • Your major is on the current STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) list http://www.ice.gov/sevis/stemlist.htm and your current OPT is based on a Bachelor’s, Master’s, or Doctoral degree
  • Your employer is registered in the E-Verify program and in good standing with USCIS
  • Your employer agrees to report your termination or departure to the DSO at UB within 48 hours of the event

Application Deadline

  • You can apply 120 days prior to the end of your post-completion OPT
  • USCIS must receive your OPT extension application NO LATER THAN the expiration date of your current post-completion OPT

Passport Validity

  • Passport must be valid and has a validity period of at least 6 months prior to filing for OPT extension
  • If your passport is valid for less than 6 months, please apply for renewal at your consulate before filing for OPT

Application Checklist

  • I-765 Form complete fully and sign in BLUE ink (original + copy) | Sample I-765 Form (PDF)
  • Copy all previous EADs
  • Two passport style color photos with name, date of birth and SEVIS ID printed in pencil on the back. See example:
  • $200 administrative fee, make a check or money order payable to “University of Bridgeport” (Does not apply if you have paid this already)
  • $380 filing fee, make a check or money order payable to “U.S. Department of Homeland Security”. Date on check must be current (check + copy) Sample Check (PDF)
  • Employment verification letter (original + copy)/ Sample Employment Verification Letter must contain the following information:
    • Confirm whether this is a self-employed position or not
    • Explain how employment is related to student’s course of study at the University of Bridgeport
    • Employer EIN
    • Confirm the employer is an E-verify employer
    • Job title
    • Detailed job description
    • Start date of employment (month/day/year)
    • End date of employment if applicable (month/day/year)
    • Full Time (more than 20 hours/week) or Part Time (20 or less hours/week)
    • Employer address
    • Work location if different from the employer address
    • Supervisor Information
      • Last and First Name
      • Telephone Number including ext.
      • Email Address
    • Salary
    • A statement: This is to confirm that we agree to report the termination or departure of the above-mentioned OPT employee to the DSO at the University of Bridgeport through email/letter if the termination or departure is prior to the end of the authorized period of OPT. Such reporting must be made within 48 hours of the event. We shall consider the above-mentioned worker to have departed when we know he/she has left the employment or if he/she has not reported for work for a period of 5 consecutive business days without our consent, whichever occurs earlier. 

This letter must be dated and signed by the employer, and printed on a company letterhead!

  • Copy of U.B. diploma
  • Copy of U.B. transcript (optional)
  • Copy of ALL I-20 forms (pages 1 and 3; all I-20s must be signed);
  • Copy of I-94 card (front and back) if you have a paper I-94 card. Stamp must be clearly legible. Electronic I-94 is available here.
  • Copy of passport: information page with expiration date and stamp of first entry into the U.S. in F1 status
  • Copy of F-1 visa
  • Signed Student Statement (original + copy)


  • Zero balance with the University Bursar
  • No holds on your student account
  • OPT employment and address must be updated via portal before you apply for OPT extension