U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has announced that certain F-1 students may apply for a 17-month extension of their optional practical training (OPT) in order to mitigate the lack of H-1B Specialty Occupation visas. To qualify for additional work authorization, the student must have a degree in a science, technology, engineering or mathematics (STEM) field and must have a job or job offer from an employer that is enrolled and in good standing in the E-Verify employment eligibility verification program where the student will be employed. The employer must provide its E-Verify identification number for inclusion on the Form I-765 application for employment authorization. Please note that the employer should not use the E-Verify system to confirm the STEM graduate’s employment eligibility unless the graduate is a new hire, since E-Verify cannot lawfully be used to verify the employment eligibility of existing employees.