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Old 05-11-2012, 12:21 AM
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Join Date: Oct 2009
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sekharan can only hope to improve
Unhappy Doing pre-completion OPT makes you ineligible for the 17 month STEM extension?

I did 8 months of part time pre-completion OPT.

My understanding is that this reduced my post-completion ("normal") OPT by 4 months, but does not affect eligibility for any other EAD?

However, my school DSO is asserting that I became ineligible for the 17 month STEM extension the moment I started working with pre-completion OPT!

He pointed me to these websites that have the specific wordings "Students on pre-completion OPT are not eligible for
the extension" and "Cannot apply for STEM extension" under the header "pre-completion OPT":

http://wings.buffalo.edu/intlservice...ing3-12-LH.pdf
http://ialogin.catnet.arizona.edu/up...2010.13.08.pdf
Optional Practical Training - Information and Forms - International Student Services - University of Illinois Springfield - UIS
Optional Practical Training (OPT) (F-1 Students)

However, my understanding is that the wordings must be taken literally under the duration of the "pre-completion OPT" period only.

To me, it seems my DSO is MISINTERPRETING the wording as "if you *have* already done pre-OPT, you *cannot* apply for the 17 month STEM extension ever".

I would like to interpret it as "if you are *currently* on pre-OPT, you *cannot* apply for 17 month STEM extension. HOWEVER, once you apply for (and are on) post-OPT, you *can* apply for the 17 month STEM extension provided you are eligible for post-OPT otherwise (meaning, you have not done anything to disqualify yourself from the STEM extension besides the part time pre-OPT in any way)"

I would be comforting to know what the correct interpretation would be and if pre-completion OPT indeed makes you ineligible for the 17 month STEM extension?
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