Documents to Submit to USCIS


Have you received your new OPT I-20 from the ISSO yet?

After you have received your OPT recommended I-20, you will need to submit the following to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS):

  • Completed Form G -1145 (should be clipped to the top of first page of your forms if mailing your application)
    • 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 6+ weeks of processing time.
  • I-765 Filing Fee
    • If applying via mail: Personal check or money order, made payable to “US Department of Homeland Security”. Be sure to date and sign the check. 
    • If applying online: You may pay with a credit, debit, or pre-paid card. Bank account withdrawals are also available when paying online. Once you are ready to submit your form, the system will automatically direct you to the secure Department of Treasury site,, to pay your filing fee online.

Note: Credit / debit cards and bank accounts must be based within the U.S.

  • Two color passport photos, taken within 30 days of the date application is filed.
    • Photos must have a white background. Photos must show the entire face of the person in full frontal view. For additional tips on photo requirements, please review the State Department's website.
    • If applying via mail: Write your full name, date of birth, and SEVIS number in pencil or pen on the back of the photos and place in a labeled envelope.
  • Form I-765 (Application for Employment Authorization)
  • COPY of the OPT recommended I-20 which will be provided to you by ISSO.
    • Pages 1 & 2 may be double-sided. Please KEEP THE ORIGINAL OPT I-20 Form for yourself (if filing via mail). You will need it the next time you have to leave the U.S. Remember to keep all previous I-20s for your historical records. Only copies of signed I-20s are submitted with the OPT application.
  • Copy of I-94 record OR both sides (even if blank) of your current I-94 card.
  • Previously authorized CPT or OPT I-20s (if any)
  • Copy of the passport identification and expiration date page(s)
  • Copy of the F-1 Visa Stamp Page (or copy of approval notice of change of status to F-1)
    • Note that Canadian citizens will not have this stamp
  • Copy of any previously issued Employment Authorization Document (EAD) cards

USCIS must receive your complete application PRIOR to the end of your current EAC period and within 30 days of the issuance date listed on your OPT I-20 Form from ISSO.


The online I-765 can be accessed on the USCIS I-765 website. Please refer to our Online I-765 Filing Guidance webpage for further assistance.


Should you choose to file via mail - All of the materials on the checklist should be mailed to a lockbox address. We advise you to send your documents to the USCIS via overnight courier service such as FedEx. Please remember that USCIS must receive your complete application PRIOR to the end of your grace period and within 30 days of the issuance date listed on your OPT I-20.

The ISSO advises that students only use FedEx to send their OPT applications.

On January 12, 2021, USCIS updated its website to reflect that all OPT/STEM OPT I-765 applications should now be sent to the USCIS Chicago Lockbox.

For US Postal Service (USPS):
PO BOX 805373
Chicago, IL 60680

For FedEx, UPS or DHL:
Attn: I-765 C03
131 South Dearborn - 3rd Floor
Chicago, IL 60603-5517


  1. You can track the delivery of your Employment Authorization Document (EAD) OR submit change of address while your OPT/STEM petition is pending.