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FAQ / What document can an F-1 student applying for a 17-month STEM extension show his or her employer when completing the Form I-9?


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According to the employment authorization regulations at 8 CFR 274a.12(b)(6)(iv), which were part of the April 8 interim final rule, an F-1 student who has timely filed an application on Form I-765 for a 17-month STEM extension of his or her post completion OPT, and whose employment authorization document (Form I-766) has expired, is authorized to continue working while that application is pending, for a period not to exceed 180 days.
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The expired Form I-766 EAD (issued under category (c)(3)(i)(B)), the USCIS receipt notice showing a timely filing of the STEM extension application (Form I-797, Notice of Action), combined with an I-20 updated to show that the DSO recommended the STEM extension for a work authorization period beginning on the date after the expiration of the EAD is the equivalent of an unexpired Employment Authorization Document under List A, #4 of the Form I-9. This combination of documents satisfies the Form I-9 requirements for 180 days (or less if the application is denied beforehand). If the 17-month STEM extension is approved, the student should receive a new Form I-766 EAD reflecting the 17-month STEM extension within the 180-day period.


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