On Monday, April 12, 2021, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced they will now accept electronic filings of form I-765 from international students in F-1 status who are applying for Optional Practical Training (OPT) in the following categories: (c)(3)(A) Pre-Completion OPT, (c)(3)(B) Post-Completion OPT, and (c)(3)(C) STEM Extension OPT.
Important: Before electronically filing the Form I-765 with USCIS online, students must first receive a NEW I-20 from ISSS recommending Optional Practical Training (OPT) by submitting the ISSS OPT I-20 request form to ISSS. It is imperative that ISSS first make the OPT recommendation in SEVIS prior to an I-765 form being submitted to USCIS online. This is very important. If a student first submits the USCIS online application and then requests the OPT recommendation I-20 from ISSS, the OPT application will be denied, as the regulations require the recommendation be entered into SEVIS prior to the OPT filing.
In order to submit an OPT application electronically, an international student in F-1 status will need to create an account on the USCIS website and upload their application online.
After submitting their OPT application electronically, they will receive their OPT application receipt notice and any other correspondence from USCIS in this online account.
Please note: Students may still mail their OPT application documents to USCIS (rather than filing online) as they did before this announcement.