1. Review the form I-20 for accuracy
  2. Print and sign the form I-20
  3. Ensure to submit the application to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) within 60 days of the form I-20 issuance date
  4. Ensure USCIS receives the completed application prior the Post-OPT Employment Authorization Document (EAD) expiry date

Prepare the following documentation and submit to USCIS PRIOR to the Post-OPT EAD expiry date:

  1. Completed G-1145 Form (pdf), which should be paperclipped to the top of the first page of your forms. This form will allow you to track your application's receipt and approval status online. Please note that your application status online will remain in initial review for the full 8+ weeks of processing time
  2. I-765 Filing Fee (personal check or money order), made payable to "US Department of Homeland Security". Be sure to sign and date the check. We recommend that you review the I-765 filing page for up to date information regarding the filing fee.
  3. Two color passport photos, taken within 30 days of the date application is filed. Write your full name, date of birth and SEVIS # in pencil or black pen, on the back of each photo and place in a labeled envelope. Photos must have a white background and show entire face of the person in full frontal view. Please note that USCIS does not allow passport photos with glasses. See more specific photo requirements.
  4. Completed and signed I-765 Form, Application for Employment Authorization. Please pay special attention to the verbiage on the USCIS I-765 webpage to ensure you are completing the correct version of the I-765 form. 
  5. Copy of STEM OPT I-20 Form (provided by ISSO). Please be sure to sign the original STEM-OPT I-20 form and then make a copy. You will need the original for future re-entries to the U.S. You will also need to present the original to your employer's HR department to show that you have temporary employment authorization in the period between the expiration of your OPT EAD and before you receive your STEM EAD. You will present the STEM EAD at your employer's HR department to show that you obtained final approval of STEM.
  6. Copy of most recent Form I-94
  7. Copy of post-OPT I-20
  8. Copy of the Passport ID and Expiration Page(s)
  9. Copy of F-1 Visa Stamp Page or copy of approval notice of change of status to F-1. Note: Canadian citizens will not have this stamp.
  10. A copy of your degree certificate reflecting the conferred degree as well as your major field of study. The student may provide one of the following documents in order to meet these requirements of the degree: Official transcripts or copy of the diploma showing the level and program of study (this is the best and most guaranteed form)
  11. Copy of all previously issued EAD(s)
  12. A current letter confirming employment from your employer. This letter must contain the following information:
    • Job Title
    • Name & title of your supervisor
    • Supervisor's contact information (email, phone #)
If applying online, please review the online I-765 guidance filing guidance webpage.

Premium Processing

Request for Premium Processing is now available to students applying for Pre-OPT, Post-OPT, and STEM Extension. USCIS will accept Form I-907 requests, filed either via paper form or online, together with Form I-765. To file Form I-907 online, an applicant must first create a USCIS online account. Should you decide to file a Premium Processing request, there is an associated fee. This is in addition to the standard application fee for the Form I-765.

Important: Students are not required to file an OPT or STEM OPT Extension application with Premium Processing; this is just an available option now.

Where to Mail Your STEM OPT Petition

Please refer to instructions from USCIS on direct filing addresses for the Form I-765.