Eligible for STEM OPT extension?

Dear Sir,

    I am Ishan Shah. I graduate from US university with mechanical engineering degree in May 2012. My OPT expires in June 2013 but my visa expires in November 2012. I wanted to know that can I still apply for STEM OPT extension even though my F-1 visa has expired. Can you please provide me answer or any link to USCIS website for the case where a student can apply for STEM extension with F-1 Visa expired? Please let me know if you know anything.


Ishan Shah

Firstly, visa has nothing to do with your applying part / maintaining status in USA. It is just for gaining entry into USA if you go out…

You can apply for OPT extension in April 2013 and that has got nothing to do with your visa at all.

Remember you cannot return back / enter into USA again if you ever go out of country as your F1 visa is expiring next month. You may not get your visa extended when on your OPT and chances of getting is very less.

I suggest you apply for H1 in April 2013 which may give you some leverage to travel out of USA to your home country from Sept 2013 onwards ( in this case you will have to get H1stamped before returning to USA).

Thank you sir for the answer. I never got any answer from the USCIS website so was confused about it and they have not mentioned in requirements of STEM OPT extension. Ya, you are right about going for H-1 visa in April 2013 but that totally depends on my employer if they want to sponsor me coming year or not.

Thank you,