Published: Jan. 24, 2023

On January 3, 2023, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to adjust certain benefit request fees. Among the proposed fee increases are the filing fees for I-765 applications. This includes pre-completion OPT, post-completion OPT, STEM OPT, and Severe Economic Hardship.

Currently, fees for I-765 filings are $410. Students pay this fee before they submit their OPT applications to USCIS through the USCIS online application system.

  • This is a friendly reminder that before filing an OPT or Severe Economic Hardship* application with USCIS, students in F-1 status must first obtain an I-20 recommending OPT or Severe Economic Hardship from ISSS.

The proposed rule would raise the I-765 filing fees for applications filed online to $555. For paper-based applications, the proposed rule would raise I-765 filing fees to $650.

Until March 6, 2023, the USCIS proposal is in the 60-day public comment period. After the public comment period, we expect more information about when and if these fee increases will take effect. ISSS will update our website resources once we receive more information from USCIS regarding the date the fee increases will take effect and what the final fees will be. USCIS has a webpage with Frequently Asked Questions about the proposed fee rule.

Additionally, on January 12, 2023, USCIS announced that they will be implementing premium processing for OPT applications in March 2023. Premium processing provides expedited processing for a fee. At this time, there is no information about the cost of premium processing for OPT. In recent semesters, OPT applications have taken approximately 2 months for USCIS adjudication without paying for premium processing. When more information about premium processing for OPT applications is available, ISSS will update our website accordingly.

Students who are interested in applying for post-completion OPT should review the ISSS Post-Completion OPT webpage for more information about the application process and timeline. ISSS recommends that you do not wait for the fee increase to go into effect and apply for post-completion OPT as early as possible. For most students in F-1 status graduating this Spring 2023 semester, the first day they can apply for OPT is February 9, 2023.

  • Remember, students in F-1 status need an I-20 recommending post-completion OPT from ISSS before filing their application with USCIS.

If you have any questions, please email, call ISSS at 303-492-8057 during business hours, attend ISSS walk-in advising, or make a remote advising appointment. ISSS also has virtual employment workshops throughout the semester!

* Please note: At this time, Severe Economic Hardship applications are only submitted to USCIS by mail.