Filing Form I-765 Online

As of April 2021, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) permits F-1 students seeking pre- or post-completion Optional Practical Training (OPT) or the STEM OPT extension to file Form I-765 electronically via the USCIS online portal. On this page, we provide some pointers for filing your I-765 online, including a comparison to the paper process. Please note that because this is a new option, we are currently unable to anticipate some of the potential drawbacks of filing online and are not responsible for USCIS' decision on your application. Additionally, we are unable to help students troubleshoot technical issues with the online filing process.

Please note: You are still welcome to file your I-765 using the paper process. Please see our USCIS Application page for information.

See Also: "F-1 Students Seeking Optional Practical Training Can Now File Form I-765 Online" (press release from USCIS)

Filing Form I-765 Online
Important Reminders

If you are interested in using the new online process to file Form I-765, please take the following points into consideration: 

  1. Do not submit an online application if you have already filed by mail. Duplicate applications may be denied by USCIS. 
  2. You may only file Form I-765 online from within the U.S. You are not eligible to apply for OPT from outside the country. 
  3. While filing Form I-765 online may be quicker and easier than filing by mail, it does not speed up the time required for USCIS to adjudicate your application. See the USCIS website for current processing times. 
  4. Once you submit your application, you cannot go back to edit or change information. Please contact your ISSS advisor immediately if you believe you have provided incorrect or incomplete information when filing Form I-765. Failing to do so can result in Requests for Evidence (RFEs), processing delays, or the denial of your application by USCIS. 
  5. USCIS has the discretion to require biometrics appointments on a case-by-case basis. 
  6. You can still choose to file your I-765 using the paper process. However, as noted above in point (1), please do not file using both methods. 

Guide for Filing Online

See below for a step-by-step guide to filing Form I-765 online. Please note that the same information is required whether you are filing Form I-765 online or submitting a completed paper form. Therefore, some of your questions may be answered by reviewing our OPT I-765 Visual Guide or the STEM OPT I-765 Visual Guide. You may also refer to the USCIS I-765 instructions.

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Begin Your Application

Gather the Required Documents

The first step in the process for filing Form I-765, whether electronically or via regular mail, is to gather the required documents. The documents required to file Form I-765 online are the same whether you are applying online or by mail (with the exception of Form G-1145 and a check/money order). See our OPT checklist or STEM OPT checklist for a list of required documents. Please note that you will be required to scan all documents so that they can be uploaded into the online system. 

Create an Online Account

After you have gathered the required documents, create an online account at https://myaccount.uscis.gov. You will be required to provide a valid phone number where you can receive a verification code for two-factor authentication, which will be required every time you log in. 

Begin Your Application

After you have logged in, select "File a Form Online" under "Select What You Want To Do." Then, under "File a Form," select "Application for Employment Authorization (I-765). You will be brought to a page with an overview of the online filing process, including eligibility requirements, required documents, payment details, and action items you may need to take after submitting Form I-765. Please read this page carefully and contact your assigned ISSS advisor if you have any questions. 

Review the "Completing Your Form Online" section carefully. Note that your responses will be automatically saved. If you log out, you may log back in and resume where you left off last time. 

 


Select "File a form online" under "Welcome to your USCIS account"
Select "File a form online."

 

Select "Application for Employment Authorization (I-765)" under "File a Form"
Select "Application for Employment Authorization (I-765). 

 

 Filing online: Submitting your application online is the same as mailing in a completed paper form. They both gather the same information.  Complete the Getting Started section first: You should answer all questions in the Getting Started section first so we can best customize the rest of your online form experience.  Provide as many responses as you can: You should provide as many responses as you can. Incomplete fields or sections and missing information can slow down the process after you submit your form.  We will automatically save your responses: We will automatically save your information when you select next to go to a new page or navigate to another section of the form. We will save your information for 30 days from today, or from the last time you worked on the form.  How to continue filling out your form: After you start your form, you can sign in to your account to continue where you stopped last time.

 

drive_file_rename_outline

Complete the Form

Getting Started

Fill out all required questions in this section. 

  • Basis of eligibility
    • c(3)(A) for pre-Completion OPT; 
    • c(3)(B) for post-Completion OPT; 
    • c(3)(C) for the STEM Extension. 
  • Reason for applying
    • Pre- or post-Completion OPT applicants should select Initial permission to accept employment.
    • STEM OPT Extension should select Renewal of permission to accept employment.
  • Have you previously filed Form I-765?
    • Select "No" if you have not previously applied for work authorization with an I-765.
    • Select "Yes" if you have previously filed an I-765 (you will be required to upload a copy of your last Employment Authorization Document in the "Evidence" section. 
  • Preparer and interpreter information
    • Select "no" unless someone (e.g., an interpreter) is assisting you with the application.

About You

Carefully fill out all required information in this section. The questions are mostly self-explanatory, but please take note of the following items: 

  • Your immigration information
    • Information about your Form I-94 can be found on the CBP website
    • Be sure to select the correct immigration status, as the list of available statuses is quite long (F1 - Student, Academic, or Language Program). 
    • Your SEVIS number can be found on the top left corner of your I-20. 
  • Other information
    • If you do not have a previous EAD, leave the A-Number field blank. If you have a previous EAD, your A-Number will be listed under USCIS# on your card. 
    • If you have been issued a Social Security Number, please provide it (if known). If not, please select "Yes" under "Do you want the SSA to issue you a Social Security card?" 

Evidence

Carefully scan and upload copies of all of the required documents and photos in this section. See Acceptable Formats for upload requirements.

  • 2 x 2 photo
    • Be sure to review the guidelines for taking and uploading a photo. Selfies are not acceptable, and the picture must be taken on a plain white or off-white background. Your application will not be approved without a photo. Refer to the Department of State's Passport Photos page for additional tips. 
  • Form I-94
    • Refer to the CBP website to obtain a copy of this form.
  • Employment Authorization Document
    • Upload a copy of your most recent EAD (if any). 
  • Form I-20

Additional Information

Use this section to provide any additional information that you could not fit into the previous sections. This is equivalent to Part 6 of the paper application.

Example #1: If you have a previous SEVIS number: 

  • Section: Select "About You"; 
  • Page: Select "Your immigration information";
  • Question: Select "What is your Student and Exchange Visitor Information (SEVIS) Number (if any)?" 
  • Additional information: Enter your previous SEVIS ID number, the name of the institution, degree level, and program start date. For example:
    • N00000000000
      DePaul University
      Bachelor's
      8/15/2014 - 5/21/2018

Example #2: If you have previous CPT authorization:

  • Section: Select "Evidence";
  • Page: "Post-Completion CPT or OPT";
  • Question: "Post-Completion CPT or OPT"; 
  • Additional Information: Enter the type of authorization, employer, full- or part-time status, dates, degree level, and SEVIS ID. For example: 
    • CPT, Amazon, Part-time
      5/31/2018 - 9/1/2018
      Master's
      N00123456789 

Review and Submit

At this stage, the system will alert you of any errors or incomplete fields and will give you the opportunity to make corrections. However, please also manually review each section of the form to ensure that you are submitting accurate information under "Your application summary." You will also have the opportunity to download a .pdf copy of your responses, which you may save for your records by clicking "View draft snapshot."

After you review your application, you must indicate that you can read and understand English. You will then be required to provide a digital signature by typing your full legal name to confirm that all information you submitted is accurate as of the time of filing. 

 


Fill out the "Getting Started," "About You," "Evidence" and "Additional Information Sections in order.
Be sure to select the correct eligibility category.

Use the "Additional information" section to provide evidence of previous CPT or OPT authorization.
Use the "Additional information" section to provide evidence of previous CPT or OPT authorization.

 


The system will tell you if there are alerts or warnings on your application and will also display the form filing fee.
The system will tell you if there are alerts or warnings on your application and will also display the form filing fee. 

Provide your signature by typing your first and last name as per your passport.
Provide your signature by typing your first and last name as per your passport.

 

paid

Pay the Filing Fee and Final Steps

Paying the Fee

After you sign your application in the previous step, you will pay your filing fee ($410). Filing online allows you to pay using a credit card, debit card, or withdrawal from a checking or savings account. After you click "Pay and submit," you will be taken to pay.gov to complete your payment. Please note that the USCIS filing fee is not refundable. Avoid clicking Back or Refresh on your browser. If you are not ready to complete the payment, click Cancel to be taken back to the USCIS online portal. 

Final Steps

After you finish your payment, you will be redirected to a confirmation screen. Click "Go to my cases" to view your case card and receipt notice. Please save a copy of your receipt number for your records. 

Once your application is submitted and payment received, you will use your online account to: 

  • View your receipt notice
  • View biometrics notices (if applicable)
  • Review Requests for Evidence (RFEs) 
  • View your case status (via the "Case status" tab)
  • View a PDF of the completed Form I-765
  • View your Decision Letter. 

All notices will also be mailed to the mailing address you indicated on your form. 

 


Click "Pay and submit" to be taken to pay.gov. The application fee is 410 dollars.
Click "Pay and submit" to be taken to pay.gov. The application fee is currently $410. 

Use pay.gov to submit a payment via credit card, debit card or bank withdrawal.
Use pay.gov to submit a payment via credit card, debit card or bank withdrawal.

After you submit: You will receive confirmation your form was submitted. Click on "Go to my cases" to see your case card and receipt notice.
After you submit: You will receive confirmation your form was submitted. Click on "Go to my cases" to see your case card and receipt notice. 

 

emoji_symbols

Acceptable Formats

Acceptable Characters

As you are uploading documents, please note that the only characters allowed in document file names are: 

  • English letters
  • Numbers
  • Spaces
  • Periods (.)
  • Hyphens (-)
  • Underscores ( _ )
  • Parentheses (  ) 

Please do not use special characters or non-English letters. 

Acceptable File Formats

  • Photos: JPG, JPEG, PNG
  • Documents: JPG, JPEG, PDF, TIF, TIFF (.doc or .bmp files are not allowed)
  • Maximum size: 6MB per file 

Please also note that foreign language documents must have an English translation. 

login

Begin Your Application

Gather the Required Documents

The first step in the process for filing Form I-765, whether electronically or via regular mail, is to gather the required documents. The documents required to file Form I-765 online are the same whether you are applying online or by mail (with the exception of Form G-1145 and a check/money order). See our OPT checklist or STEM OPT checklist for a list of required documents. Please note that you will be required to scan all documents so that they can be uploaded into the online system. 

Create an Online Account

After you have gathered the required documents, create an online account at https://myaccount.uscis.gov. You will be required to provide a valid phone number where you can receive a verification code for two-factor authentication, which will be required every time you log in. 

Begin Your Application

After you have logged in, select "File a Form Online" under "Select What You Want To Do." Then, under "File a Form," select "Application for Employment Authorization (I-765). You will be brought to a page with an overview of the online filing process, including eligibility requirements, required documents, payment details, and action items you may need to take after submitting Form I-765. Please read this page carefully and contact your assigned ISSS advisor if you have any questions. 

Review the "Completing Your Form Online" section carefully. Note that your responses will be automatically saved. If you log out, you may log back in and resume where you left off last time. 

 


Select "File a form online" under "Welcome to your USCIS account"
Select "File a form online."

 

Select "Application for Employment Authorization (I-765)" under "File a Form"
Select "Application for Employment Authorization (I-765). 

 

 Filing online: Submitting your application online is the same as mailing in a completed paper form. They both gather the same information.  Complete the Getting Started section first: You should answer all questions in the Getting Started section first so we can best customize the rest of your online form experience.  Provide as many responses as you can: You should provide as many responses as you can. Incomplete fields or sections and missing information can slow down the process after you submit your form.  We will automatically save your responses: We will automatically save your information when you select next to go to a new page or navigate to another section of the form. We will save your information for 30 days from today, or from the last time you worked on the form.  How to continue filling out your form: After you start your form, you can sign in to your account to continue where you stopped last time.

 

drive_file_rename_outline

Complete the Form

Getting Started

Fill out all required questions in this section. 

  • Basis of eligibility
    • c(3)(A) for pre-Completion OPT; 
    • c(3)(B) for post-Completion OPT; 
    • c(3)(C) for the STEM Extension. 
  • Reason for applying
    • Pre- or post-Completion OPT applicants should select Initial permission to accept employment.
    • STEM OPT Extension should select Renewal of permission to accept employment.
  • Have you previously filed Form I-765?
    • Select "No" if you have not previously applied for work authorization with an I-765.
    • Select "Yes" if you have previously filed an I-765 (you will be required to upload a copy of your last Employment Authorization Document in the "Evidence" section. 
  • Preparer and interpreter information
    • Select "no" unless someone (e.g., an interpreter) is assisting you with the application.

About You

Carefully fill out all required information in this section. The questions are mostly self-explanatory, but please take note of the following items: 

  • Your immigration information
    • Information about your Form I-94 can be found on the CBP website
    • Be sure to select the correct immigration status, as the list of available statuses is quite long (F1 - Student, Academic, or Language Program). 
    • Your SEVIS number can be found on the top left corner of your I-20. 
  • Other information
    • If you do not have a previous EAD, leave the A-Number field blank. If you have a previous EAD, your A-Number will be listed under USCIS# on your card. 
    • If you have been issued a Social Security Number, please provide it (if known). If not, please select "Yes" under "Do you want the SSA to issue you a Social Security card?" 

Evidence

Carefully scan and upload copies of all of the required documents and photos in this section. See Acceptable Formats for upload requirements.

  • 2 x 2 photo
    • Be sure to review the guidelines for taking and uploading a photo. Selfies are not acceptable, and the picture must be taken on a plain white or off-white background. Your application will not be approved without a photo. Refer to the Department of State's Passport Photos page for additional tips. 
  • Form I-94
    • Refer to the CBP website to obtain a copy of this form.
  • Employment Authorization Document
    • Upload a copy of your most recent EAD (if any). 
  • Form I-20

Additional Information

Use this section to provide any additional information that you could not fit into the previous sections. This is equivalent to Part 6 of the paper application.

Example #1: If you have a previous SEVIS number: 

  • Section: Select "About You"; 
  • Page: Select "Your immigration information";
  • Question: Select "What is your Student and Exchange Visitor Information (SEVIS) Number (if any)?" 
  • Additional information: Enter your previous SEVIS ID number, the name of the institution, degree level, and program start date. For example:
    • N00000000000
      DePaul University
      Bachelor's
      8/15/2014 - 5/21/2018

Example #2: If you have previous CPT authorization:

  • Section: Select "Evidence";
  • Page: "Post-Completion CPT or OPT";
  • Question: "Post-Completion CPT or OPT"; 
  • Additional Information: Enter the type of authorization, employer, full- or part-time status, dates, degree level, and SEVIS ID. For example: 
    • CPT, Amazon, Part-time
      5/31/2018 - 9/1/2018
      Master's
      N00123456789 

Review and Submit

At this stage, the system will alert you of any errors or incomplete fields and will give you the opportunity to make corrections. However, please also manually review each section of the form to ensure that you are submitting accurate information under "Your application summary." You will also have the opportunity to download a .pdf copy of your responses, which you may save for your records by clicking "View draft snapshot."

After you review your application, you must indicate that you can read and understand English. You will then be required to provide a digital signature by typing your full legal name to confirm that all information you submitted is accurate as of the time of filing. 

 


Fill out the "Getting Started," "About You," "Evidence" and "Additional Information Sections in order.
Be sure to select the correct eligibility category.

Use the "Additional information" section to provide evidence of previous CPT or OPT authorization.
Use the "Additional information" section to provide evidence of previous CPT or OPT authorization.

 


The system will tell you if there are alerts or warnings on your application and will also display the form filing fee.
The system will tell you if there are alerts or warnings on your application and will also display the form filing fee. 

Provide your signature by typing your first and last name as per your passport.
Provide your signature by typing your first and last name as per your passport.

 

paid

Pay the Filing Fee and Final Steps

Paying the Fee

After you sign your application in the previous step, you will pay your filing fee ($410). Filing online allows you to pay using a credit card, debit card, or withdrawal from a checking or savings account. After you click "Pay and submit," you will be taken to pay.gov to complete your payment. Please note that the USCIS filing fee is not refundable. Avoid clicking Back or Refresh on your browser. If you are not ready to complete the payment, click Cancel to be taken back to the USCIS online portal. 

Final Steps

After you finish your payment, you will be redirected to a confirmation screen. Click "Go to my cases" to view your case card and receipt notice. Please save a copy of your receipt number for your records. 

Once your application is submitted and payment received, you will use your online account to: 

  • View your receipt notice
  • View biometrics notices (if applicable)
  • Review Requests for Evidence (RFEs) 
  • View your case status (via the "Case status" tab)
  • View a PDF of the completed Form I-765
  • View your Decision Letter. 

All notices will also be mailed to the mailing address you indicated on your form. 

 


Click "Pay and submit" to be taken to pay.gov. The application fee is 410 dollars.
Click "Pay and submit" to be taken to pay.gov. The application fee is currently $410. 

Use pay.gov to submit a payment via credit card, debit card or bank withdrawal.
Use pay.gov to submit a payment via credit card, debit card or bank withdrawal.

After you submit: You will receive confirmation your form was submitted. Click on "Go to my cases" to see your case card and receipt notice.
After you submit: You will receive confirmation your form was submitted. Click on "Go to my cases" to see your case card and receipt notice. 

 

emoji_symbols

Acceptable Formats

Acceptable Characters

As you are uploading documents, please note that the only characters allowed in document file names are: 

  • English letters
  • Numbers
  • Spaces
  • Periods (.)
  • Hyphens (-)
  • Underscores ( _ )
  • Parentheses (  ) 

Please do not use special characters or non-English letters. 

Acceptable File Formats

  • Photos: JPG, JPEG, PNG
  • Documents: JPG, JPEG, PDF, TIF, TIFF (.doc or .bmp files are not allowed)
  • Maximum size: 6MB per file 

Please also note that foreign language documents must have an English translation.