Filing OPT/STEM OPT Online
USCIS now allows students to file for Pre- or Post Completion OPT or STEM OPT online. It is very important that students do not submit an online AND a paper form application to USCIS. Please choose your method of applying for OPT or STEM OPT prior to beginning your I-765.
Students MUST obtain their OPT or STEM OPT requested I-20 from ISSS prior to submitting their online I-765 form. The online application MUST be submitted to USCIS within the proper timeline:
Pre- & Post-Completion OPT applications MUST be submitted to USCIS within 30 days of the I-20 issuance date.
STEM OPT Applications MUST be submitted to USCIS within 60 days of the I-20 issuance date.
Online I-765 Filing Guides
ISSS has created an Online I-765 guide for students filing for Pre-& Post-Completion OPT and for students filing for STEM OPT. Please refer to our guide when completing the online OPT or STEM OPT application with USCIS.
Frequently Asked Questions
Tips & Tricks for Online Filing:
When creating your online account, the system will send you a one-time PIN to log into your account; you will need to continue to use two-factor authentication when signing back into your account.
Follow all other USCIS instructions to finalize the account creation process.
Keep your account information secure as you will need to return to your account to finish the application and to view updates once you have submitted your application.
You will have the ability to save and return to the I-765 application at later times, but if the application is not completed within 30 days, the information will be erased and you will need to start over. Please keep in mind your I-20 Issuance Date and be sure you are submitting your I-765 within the required timeframe.
Uploaded documents must be scanned and files must be:
Clear and readable
In an acceptable format (JPG, JPEG, PDF, TIF, or TIFF)
Not encrypted or password-protected
Written in acceptable characters: English letters, numbers, spaces, hyphens, underscores, and parentheses
If a document was originally written in a foreign language, each document must be accompanied by a full English translation and translator’s certification
No larger than 6MB per file
Each name field is limited to 40 characters. If your name does not fit within the character limits, enter as much as you can in the space provided. Do not change your name format. You should list your first name in the “First Name” data field, and your last name in the “Last Name” data field. If you only have one name, list this in the “Last Name” data field. You should upload a letter to the “Additional Information” section explaining which data fields you could not complete because your information was longer than the character limit provided. Your letter should include your full name as well as any other information that appears truncated on the form due to character limits or the use of only one name.