F-1 OPT USCIS Application

When preparing the OPT application, print the Application Checklist as a reference for assembling the required materials. 

Application Checklist

Please Note: USCIS new fee and form changes are on hold. Students should use the I-765 Form 8/25 edition and $410 fee until further notice. Learn More Here


Find the I-765 form here

REMINDER: The OPT application must be received by USCIS within 30 days of the date on which ISSS issues an OPT I-20.  If filed with USCIS after 30 days of the OPT I-20 issuance date, your application will be denied.

Tutorial: Form I-765
Learn how to fill out Form I-765.

Important Considerations

  • You must be physically present in the U.S. until after USCIS receives your application for processing. Keep delivery confirmation whenever possible. We strongly recommend you discuss travel plans with ISSS before filing OPT to avoid rejection or denial.

  • If you decide NOT to mail your OPT application (Form I-765 plus supporting documentation) to USCIS for any reason, you must notify an ISSS advisor immediately so we can timely cancel your OPT recommendation in SEVIS. Failure to inform us can cause problems in the future.

  • If you have not received an I-797 Receipt Notice (with a case number from USCIS) within 2-6 weeks from the date your OPT application was received at USCIS meet with an ISSS advisor and bring a copy of delivery confirmation.

  • While OPT is pending, we strongly advise against changing the address listed on Form I-765. USClS has not been able to process change of address notifications properly. Changing your address while OPT is pending may result in being required to file a new OPT application with a new fee if your documents are lost. We suggest you use the address of someone who can receive mail on your behalf – remember to put “c/o”, followed by the person’s name and address, on Line 3 of Form I-765. The US Postal Service will not forward USCIS mail.

  • If you receive a Request for Evidence (RFE), please consult an ISSS advisor immediately

  • Your OPT will be automatically terminated when you begin study at another educational level or transfer to another school

  • If you find any errors by USCIS on your OPT EAD card, please inform ISSS immediately

  • Immediately inform ISSS of any immigration status change


ISSS provides guidance based on current regulatory information and is not a substitute for legal counsel.