Completing the I-765 form

Form I-765 is an important form which must be completed and filed by F-1 students who seek OPT or STEM OPT authorization. Failure to complete the form accurately may cause a delay or denial of your application for OPT or STEM OPT. All students should carefully read through the I-765 instructions provided by USCIS.

Please be mindful that the tips provided below are general guidance and based on frequently asked questions. The tips below do not cover all fields on the Form I-765. Any question not indicated on this page still needs to be completed, the I-765 instructions provided by USCIS explain how to complete each field.

USCIS General Form I-765 Instructions:

  • Type or neatly hand write your answers before signing your name in black ink.
  • Answer all questions fully and accurately. If a question does not apply to you, put "N/A". If your answer to a question that requires a numeric response is zero or none, type or print "None" unless otherwise directed.
  • Be sure to include all 7 pages of the Form I-765, even if they do not apply to you or are blank.
Part 1: Reason for Applying
Question 1: Select "initial permission to accept employment" if this is your first OPT application. Otherwise, select "Renewal of my permission to select employment" if this is your STEM OPT application or second OPT application.
Part 2: Information About You
Question 1a - 1c are self-explanatory. Write your name exactly how it appears on your Form I-20.
Question 5: Your current U.S. mailing address. This is the address to which USCIS will send official notices and your EAD. Please be sure that your name is on the mailbox!
Question 5a: Use this field if the address you are listing is not your U.S. address, and you are having it sent to a friend or family member. Indicate the person's name that lives at this address.
Please be aware that if you change residences while your application is pending, you must alert USCIS via their website. Please be sure that your name is on your mailbox, as the postal service will not deliver the EAD unless your name is listed on the mailbox. Failure to list your name on the mailbox could cause delays in card delivery, potential loss of OPT time, and possible loss of the card.
Question 7a - 7d: Complete this section if your mailing address is not the same as your physical address
6: If the address you provided in item 5.a is not where you physically reside, select "NO".
If you physically reside at the address you listed in item 5.a, select "YES".
7.a - 4.e : If you selected "NO" for item 6, complete section 7.a-e with your physical address
Other Information
8 & 9: Leave blank
Information About Your Last Arrival to the United States
Question 21.a: You can access your most recent CBP issued I-94, finding your I-94 admission number
Question 21.c: Leave blank
Information About Your Eligibility Category
27: Please use the following eligibility category codes as it relates to your OPT request:
  • (C)(3)(A): Pre-Completion OPT*;
  • (C)(3)(B): Post-Completion OPT*; or
  • (C)(3)(C): STEM OPT Extension
*If you are applying for Pre or Post-Completion OPT, you will not answer items 28-31.b and must leave them blank or list "N/A" in each field.
STEM OPT Authorization ONLY:
28.a: Enter degree level and degree name for the STEM degree for which you are requesting an OPT extension (for example, "BSE Plastics Engineering")
28.b: List your OPT employer's name as listed in the E-Verify System (your company's HR department should be able to confirm this)
28.c: Enter your OPT employer's E-Verify Company Identification Number (your company's HR department should be able to confirm this). This is NOT your company's EIN, but rather a 4-7 digit e-verify number.
Part 3: Applicant's Statement, Contact Information, Declaration, Certification and Signature
Question 1-2: If you have filled out the I-765 yourself, select 1.a. You do not have to complete Part 4 or Part 5 if you did not use an interpreter or preparer to fill out the form.
Question 7.a-b: Sign by hand in BLACK ink and enter the date you signed the document
Par 4 and 5
Enter N/A for all items if you did not use the services of an interpreter or preparer to complete the form
Part 6: Additional Information
If you have previously been granted OPT for your current or previous academic level:
Question 3.d:
  • Enter SEVIS ID number that the OPT was granted for
  • Enter the academic level for which the OPT was granted for
  • Enter the start and end date of the EAD, indicate the type of OPT granted (Pre-OPT, Post-OPT, STEM, etc.)
  • Enter the academic level for which the OPT was authorized
NOTE: You will also need to provide copies of all previous EAC cards with your filing to USCIS
If you have been previously authorized to participate in CPT for your current or previous academic level:
  • Enter the SEVIS ID number that the CPT was authorized for
  • Enter whether the CPT authorization was part-time or full-time
  • Enter start and end dates of CPT authorization
  • Indicate the academic level for which the CPT authorization was for
  • Enter the employer the CPT authorization reflects
If you were previously in F-1 status with a different SEVIS ID number, provide all of the previously used SEVIS ID numbers and academic levels for which they were granted.
ISSO is only providing general guidance on the questions/fields that students ask the most. This tool is not to be used as instructions on how to complete the entire I-765. We are not the legal preparer of the form. It is your legal responsibility to complete the form and to consult with an immigration attorney for advice on the form.