Reminder: OPT I-20 Needed

Do not submit your OPT application to USCIS without first obtaining an OPT recommendation I-20 from the OIS.

Preparing Your OPT Application Materials for Filing by Mail

Filing Your I-765 and OPT Application by Mail

Remember: For Pre- and Post-Completion OPT, USCIS must receive your OPT application no more than 30 days after your OPT recommendation I-20 was issued.  For STEM OPT, USCIS must receive your OPT application no more than 60 days after the OPT recommendation I-20 was issued.

After receiving your OPT recommendation I-20 from the OIS, mail your complete application to the correct USCIS mailing address.  Be sure to ship your OPT application to USCIS via a shipping method with tracking, so that you can monitor the delivery of your OPT application.

Your OPT application should include (in this order):

  • Filing fee payment.  This fee is increasing from $410 to $470 on April 1, 2024.  Select one payment option and provide the below):
    • Recommended: Check or money order made payable to the US Department of Homeland Security, with SEVIS ID number written in Memo section, OR
    • Completed G-1450 for credit card payment
  • Two US passport-style photos (must be taken within the last 30 days, cannot have been used for any other immigration applications, and should measure 2”x2”).  Write on the back of each photo:
    • Full Name
    • Date of Birth (MM/DD/YYYY)
    • SEVIS ID Number
    • I-94 Number
  • Completed G-1145
  • Completed and signed I-765 (original)
  • Copy of newly issued OPT recommendation I-20 (issued no more than 30 days ago for Pre-/Post-Completion OPT applications, and no more than 60 days ago for STEM applications)
  • Copy of passport bio page (passport should not be expiring within the next six months)
  • Copy of most recent I-94 record
  • Copy of F-1 visa stamp (except for citizens of Canada and Bermuda)
  • Copies of previous EAD cards (if you have been on OPT before, or have otherwise been issued an EAD in the past)
  • Copies of any OPT I-20s and CPT I-20s (if you have been authorized for OPT and/or CPT in the past)
  • Official transcript for the degree upon which your STEM extension application is based (must be original, copies are not acceptable) (STEM OPT applications only)

When mailing your OPT application to USCIS, check the Direct Filing Addresses for Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization page for the most up-to-date destination address. 

Please note that these resources are intended for general informational purposes only and are not legal advice.  It is your responsibility to review and follow all official instructions provided by USCIS.