Graphic Design and Animation majors are now eligible to apply for a STEM OPT Extension. You may be eligible to apply for the extension while you are completing your first year of OPT, even if your STEM degree is not your most recent degree.
What is STEM OPT?
The STEM OPT extension is a 24-month period of temporary training that directly relates to an F-1 student's major in an approved STEM field. For more information, please see the STEM OPT Overview.
How do I know if I am eligible?
If you are on an F1 visa and have completed a Graphic design or Animation degree at MICA, you may be eligible to apply for a 24 month extension to OPT to work for an employer in the US. Your major program code needs to be shown on your I-20 when you apply for OPT. Having a minor in Graphic Design or Animation does NOT qualify you for the extension.
How do I apply for the extension?
The Office of International Education will help you with this process. First, you must apply for Post Completion OPT in your last semester at MICA. You will be able to apply for a STEM OPT Extension near the end of your first year of OPT. Additional STEM OPT information will be shared with you so you can review the extension application process while you are on OPT.
Do I automatically get an extension?
No, the extension is not guaranteed. You will need to apply, and your employer must meet certain requirements. You will be able to work with different employers during OPT than during the STEM OPT extension period.
I am graduating this semester, can I still apply for the extension?
If you are graduating this semester, you will first apply for Post Completion OPT. Additional information will be shared with you so you can apply for the Extension toward the end of your 12 month OPT period.
What if I've already applied for OPT?
If you've already applied for OPT, that's great! As long as you complete a year of Post Completion OPT, you will be able to apply for the 24 month extension during your final months of OPT.
What if I don't want an extension?
You do not have to apply for an extension. You may apply for OPT and just work up to 12 months in the US. Or, you don't have to do OPT at all! (It's optional)