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DHS Updates Tip Sheet to Help Avoid Form I-765 delays

The Department of Homeland Security’s CIS Ombudsman unit recently released an update to their tip sheet to help F-1 students avoid Form I-765 delays. This tip sheet provides guidance for F-1 students applying for OPT work authorization.

What are the key points in the tip sheet?

  • Check USCIS’ website for updates before you submit your Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization.
  • Make sure Form I-20, Certification of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant Student Status, is signed, dated, and endorsed for the correct type of employment authorization.
  • Apply online.
  • Updated: Submit your Form I-765 within 30 days (post-completion OPT) or 60 days (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) OPT) after your designated school official (DSO) enters the recommendation for OPT into your Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) record.
  • Students should ask their DSO for the date the DSO entered the recommendation into SEVIS.
  • The Date Issued on Form I-20 may be different from the date the recommendation was entered in your SEVIS record.
  • Submit a properly completed Form I-20 together with Form I-765 at the same time.
  • If you move, update your mailing address with both USCIS through its How to Change Your Address page and the U.S. Postal Service through its Official USPS Change-of-Address page.

Are there any other resources to help me when applying for OPT?

We recommend you check out International Student Service’s resources including our video series, I-765 guides, and group advising sessions.