F-1 students seeking OPT can now file application online, says USICS


International students in the US who are on their F-1 visa-seeking Optional Practical Training (OPT) can now file Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization online if they are filing for: pre-completion OPT, post-completion OPT, or STEM OPT.

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) made this news public which is set to ease a whole lot of processes for students.

USCIS lately has been facing a lot complaints from the international student community due to the immense backlog in issuing receipt notices and adjudications for these types of applications.

The online filing option is surely something the community would appreciate.

The update is particularly useful for students seeking STEM OPT employment authorization, who are permitted to establish employment authorization for Form I-9 purposes by presenting an expired OPT EAD card with Form I-20 endorsed by the student’s designated school official, but require evidence that the STEM OPT application was timely filed to get the endorsed Form I-20.

By filing online, students should receive electronic filing receipts quickly and be able to use these receipts to confirm filing to their designated school officials; thereby being able to secure STEM OPT employment authorization even prior to receiving the official STEM OPT EAD card.

Finally, the option to file Form I-765 online is only available to F-1 students seeking OPT-based employment authorization. USCIS will deny any online applications for non-OPT categories and retain related fees.