Form I-765 Processing Delays: Tips for F-1 Students Seeking OPT

October 5, 2023
As a F-1 student seeking OPT, filing Form I-765 comes with its own set of challenges. However, with the recently updated tip sheet from the Office of the Citizenship and Immigration Services Ombudsman (CIS Ombudsman), students can now avoid processing delays with USCIS. The key takeaways from the tip sheet are: 1. Always keep an eye on USCIS' website for any updates before submitting Form I-765. USCIS occasionally updates their forms, filing guidance, fees, and filing locations. 2. Ensure that your Form I-20 is signed, dated, and endorsed for employment authorization. 3. Apply online instead of through paper forms. USCIS receives online forms much faster, and you'll receive an electronic receipt number instantly. 4. Submit your Form I-765 within 30 days (if you're seeking post-completion OPT) or 60 days (if you're seeking STEM OPT) after your DSO enters the recommendation for OPT into your SEVIS record. 5. Check with the DSO the date the recommendation was entered into the SEVIS record. Form I-20 does not include this date. The "Date Issued" on Form I-20 may differ from the date the recommendation was recorded in SEVIS. 6. Change your mailing address with both USCIS and USPS if you relocate. USPS will not forward EAD to a new address if the address is only updated with USPS. By following these tips, F-1 students can help ensure that their Form I-765 is processed in a timely and efficient manner. So, whether you're seeking post-completion OPT or STEM OPT, make sure that you keep these guidelines in mind and stay up-to-date with USCIS' latest updates. Anoop V. Mohan- Director of Client Management and Special Cases

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