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Key Points
  • USCIS has extended online filing of Form I-765 to F-1 students seeking OPT in certain categories
  • Online filing is now available for pre-completion OPT, post-completion OPT, and a 24-month Extension of OPT for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) students
  • Individuals can file their applications through the USCIS website
  • USCIS will continue accepting applications by mail
  • Updates will be provided as USCIS continues to expand its online application filing services
US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has announced that F-1 students seeking optional practical training (OPT) can file their Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, electronically if they are filing in certain categories.
What are the Changes?
Online filing is now permitted for pre-completion OPT, post-completion OPT, and a 24-month Extension of OPT for science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) students. The option to file Form I-765 electronically is only available for F-1 students who are filing Form I-765 for OPT. The agency will deny applications for individuals who submit a Form I-765 electronically to request employment authorization on or after April 15, 2021 for a non-OPT employment authorization category. USCIS will also retain the application fee.
What Should Applicants Know?
Individuals can file their applications online at the USCIS website. Accounts are free to set up. With an online account, applicants can submit all forms, pay their application fee, track their case status, respond to Requests for Evidence (RFEs), and communicate with USCIS.
Along with online applications, USCIS will also continue accepting current versions of I-765 applications by mail.
Looking Ahead
USCIS is gradually transitioning to online filing for more of its applications, including additional Form I-765 categories. Updates will be provided as available.
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