Prepare your OPT application and mail to US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) within 30 DAYS of creation of new I-20. A complete application includes:
- Original, completed and signed Form I-765
- Original completed Form G-1145 (Optional, but highly recommended).
- Copies of pages 1 and 3 of all previous I-20s (including those from former schools). Make sure your signature is on the front page of each I-20. No staples, please!
- Copies of pages 1 and 3 of newest I-20 with OPT recommendation on page 3. No staples, please!
- Copy of the biographical page of your passport.
- Copy of your F-1 visa stamp.
- Copy of the front and back of your I-94 card OR a copy of your electronic I-94.
- Copy of any previous EAD cards (if applicable).
- A check or money order for $380 payable to the S. Department of Homeland Security.
- Two US passport-style photographs taken within the last 30 days. Lightly print your name and I-94 Number on the back of each photo in pencil. The photos should be placed in an envelope or plastic bag and paper clipped to the application so they are not lost.
- Send application materials to U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services, no later than 30 days after the OPT I-20 has been issued. Please refer to the instructions for the I-765 for the appropriate address.
Tips When Completing Form I-765:
- Check the appropriate box at the top of the form that says “I am applying for”.
- Item #3: Mail from the USCIS will not be forwarded. If you may be moving in the months after you submit the OPT application, discuss options with International Student Affairs to ensure you receive the notices and EAD.
- The I-94 number appears on the upper left-hand corner of your I-94 card or on the top of your electronic I-94 record.
- Item #11: Only check “Yes” if you have previously filed this form. If your previous receipt notice started with the three-letter code as follows, the indicated Service Center processed your application. EAC = Vermont Service Center; WAC = California Service Center; LIN = Nebraska Service Center or SRC = Texas Service Center.
- Items #12, 13, and 14: Date, place, & manner of last entry should match current I-94 card.
- Item #15: Your current visa status is either “F-1” or “Student”.
- Item #16: Use (C)(3)(A) for pre-completion OPT or (C)(3)(B) for post-completion OPT.
- Item #17: Leave this blank unless you are applying for a STEM extension of OPT.
- Don’t forget to sign and date the form within the lines!
- Your OPT application must be received at USCIS NO LATER THAN 30 days after the new Form I-20 with OPT recommendation on page 3 was prepared. If you are delayed in sending your application, please request a new I-20 from International Student Affairs.
- If you receive a request for further evidence (RFE) or a denial, there are specific deadlines by which you must respond. Please contact International Student Affairs so that we can advise you how to proceed if this occurs.