Must the F-1 OPT STEM student work on a Federal contract and be classified as an “employee assigned to the contract” to qualify for the 17-month extension?

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Must the F-1 OPT STEM student work on a Federal contract and be classified as an “employee assigned to the contract” to qualify for the 17-month extension?

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No. The student does not need to be assigned to a Federal contract with the E-Verify clause to be eligible for the 17-month extension. The student still must meet the OPT eligibility criteria regardless of how the university is enrolled.

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