1. Prepare Your Documents
To make the process of submitting your online application easy, please have the electronic files for these documents ready before you begin:
|Most recent I-94 arrival record (not your travel history)
Please make sure that your I-94 record reflects your most recent entry to the U.S. The I-94 should list 'F-1' as your class of admission and Admit Until Date: 'D/S'. If you see any errors on your I-94, please contact your OISS adviser.
|2 X 2 INCH Photo
|Get a new photo taken and save a digital file to upload in your application. Be sure to follow the photo requirements here. This photograph:
|New OPT I-20
|Once you receive your new I-20 recommending OPT from your OISS adviser, please:
|Copy of Old I-20s
|You should also have copies of your previous I-20s, especially the ones for (not all may apply to you):
Please be sure to name each I-20 appropriately (e.g. “Initial I-20”, or “Summer 2021 CPT I-20”, etc.). If you are missing any of these I-20(s) please let your OISS adviser know so that they can assist you.
Please note that the USCIS online system does not allow you to upload more than 5 documents at a time. If you have more than five old I-20s you need to select and upload less than 5 at a time. This restriction does not mean you can upload only five documents; you can upload as many as you like. If you wish, you can also combine your old I-20s into one PDF file, but this is not necessary.
|Copy of Passport ID Page
|If you are a citizen of more than one country, please have copies of all of your passports ready.
If your F-1 visa is on your old passport, please have copies of both the old and the new passport ready.
|Copy of F-1 Visa
If you have more than one F-1 visa in your passport, you only need the most recent one. An expired F-1 visa will not affect your OPT application.
(Not applicable if you are Canadian)
|Copy of Previous EAD(s)
|If you used OPT before at your current or previous educational level, have copy(ies) of your EAD(s) ready.
2. Create or Log into Your USCIS Account
- Follow instructions for creating a USCIS Online Account or log in to your USCIS account if you already have one.
- Click on 'MyUSCIS'
- Select 'File a Form Online' and choose 'Application for Employment Authorization (I-765)'.
- Follow the instructions and complete each step in the order they are presented to you.
3. Completing Your Online OPT Application
As you navigate the sections of the online I-765 application, follow these tips to complete and submit your application. Once you pay the fee, you will no longer be able to edit your application.
|How to Answer
|What is your eligibility category?
|This is one of the most important choices you need to make and you need to make it right. Choosing the wrong category may result in the wrong EAD and you might need to pay a new filing fee to correct it. Choose '(c)(3)(B) Student Post-Completion OPT' unless you are a continuing student who will return to study after your Pre-Completion OPT (c)(3)(A) ends.
|WOULD YOU LIKE TO REQUEST PREMIUM PROCESSING SERVICE?
F-1 students may choose to add Premium Processing service to their OPT applications. Premium Processing costs an additional $1,500 and may allow for your application to be processed in 30 days. You can learn more about Premium Processing on the USCIS website. If you choose not to add Premium Processing at this point, you can still log back into your account and add it later to upgrade to Premium Processing. Please consult with your OISS adviser before upgrading to Premium Processing.
You can also check the USCIS website for standard I-765 processing times. Select Form: I-765, Form Category: Based on a request by a qualified F-1 academic student, Field Office: Potomac Service Center.
|What is your reason for applying?
|Choose 'Initial permission to accept employment'.
|How to Answer
|U.S. Mailing Address
This is where your EAD will be mailed. Make certain that the address you put in this section will be valid for the next 5 months as this is where your receipt notice, approval notice, and EAD will be sent. Mail from USCIS will not be forwarded by the U.S. Postal Service.
If you have no other options, you may use the OISS address (421 Temple St, New Haven CT 06511) as your mailing address. However, please note that OISS does not take any responsibility if there are any issues with the delivery of your EAD card. If you decide to use our address, enter “Yale OISS” under 'In Care Of Name (if any)'. You will get an email from Emily Solivan, OISS Front Desk Coordinator, once your EAD card is delivered to OISS during weekdays.
|Is your current mailing address the same as your physical address?
|If you used the OISS address (421 Temple St) as your mailing address, select 'No' and fill out your actual physical address here.
|What is your date of birth?
|Be sure to use MM/DD format.
|What is your country of citizenship or nationality?
|If you are a dual national, please remember to upload copies of both your passports in the relevant evidence section (see below).
|What is your Form I-94 Arrival-Departure Record Number (if any)?
|Enter the admission number on your most recent I-94 arrival record (not your travel history). Make sure the record reflects your most recent entry to the U.S. and indicates F-1 as your class of admission and Admit Until Date: 'D/S', which stands for 'duration of status'. If you see any errors on your most recent I-94 record, please contact your OISS adviser.
|Place of Arrival
|Please choose the port of entry (air, land, or sea) where you cleared U.S. immigration during your most recent trip.
|Status at last arrival
|Scroll down and select 'F1 - Student, Academic Or Language Program'.
|what is your travel document number (if any)
|If you already entered your passport number in the indicated field above this question, and if you do not have a separate travel document, please leave this section blank.
|What is your A-Number?
|If you have applied for OPT before, enter the USCIS# found on your OPT EAD. The number format should look like this: XXX-XXX-XXX.
If you do not know your USCIS # select 'I do not have or know my A-Number'.
|What is your USCIS Account Number?
|If this is your first online application to USCIS, you will not have a USCIS Account Number yet. Select 'I do not have or know my USCIS Online Account Number'. If you filed an online application before and know your USCIS Account Number, enter it here.
|do you want the ssa to issue you a social security card?
|If you do not have an SSN or if you have an SSN but lost your card, select 'Yes'. Checking this box will not delay the processing of your I-765. Please note that USCIS will forward your application to the SSA after they process your I-765, so your SSN might arrive either at the same time as your EAD or slightly later. If you do not receive your SSN by the time you begin working, you may want to reapply for one in-person at your nearest Social Security Administration office.
|How to Answer
|2 x 2 INCH photo
|Get a new photo taken and save a digital file to upload to your application. Be sure to follow the photo requirements here. This photograph:
You do not need to upload your travel history. Make sure the record reflects your most recent entry to the U.S. and indicates F-1 as your class of admission and Admit Until Date: 'D/S', which stands for 'duration of status'. If you see any errors on your I-94, please contact your OISS adviser.
|Employment Authorization Document or Government ID
If you used OPT before, upload a legible copy of your EAD card(s) here.
Regardless of any prior OPT use, please also upload in this section copies of:
|proof of enrollment
|Proof of enrollment for one academic year is an evidence item you will only see if you have chosen Pre-Completion OPT (c)(3)(A) as your eligibility category. If you are applying for Post-Completion OPT, you will not see this item and do not need to submit it. If you are applying for pre-completion OPT, please upload a copy of your initial I-20 that you used to enter the U.S. here.
|Previously Authorized CPT or OPT
Be sure to name each I-20 appropriately (e.g. “Initial I-20”, or “Summer 2021 CPT I-20”, etc.) If you are missing any of these I-20(s), please let your OISS adviser know so that they can help you retrieve them.
Please note that the USCIS online system does not allow you to upload more than 5 documents at a time. If you have more than 5 old I-20s, you need to select and upload less than 5 at a time. This restriction does not mean you can upload only 5 documents. Alternatively, you can combine your old I-20s into one PDF file, but this is not necessary.
Please print, sign, scan, and upload the new I-20 that OISS issued to recommend you for OPT. This is the most important document in your online application, as it shows your requested OPT type, full or part-time status, and dates at the top of the second page. DO NOT SUBMIT your OPT application without uploading this new I-20.
Remember that you must submit your OPT application to USCIS within 30 days of the issuance of your new I-20 recommending OPT. If more than 30 days have passed since your I-20 was issued, contact your OISS adviser.
You should select 'add a response' ONLY if you:
- Had a different SEVIS number(s) than your current one: Choose the 'About You' section, the 'Your immigration information' page, and the 'What is your SEVIS number (if any)?' question. Under 'Additional Information', indicate your previous SEVIS ID and the start and end date of your previous I-20(s).
- Have previously been authorized OPT(s): Choose the 'Evidence' section, the 'Previously authorized CPT or OPT' page, and 'Previously authorized CPT or OPT' question. Under 'Additional Information', include the receipt number (the number that starts with EAC, IOE, LIN, PSC, WAC, YSC, etc.), start and end dates of OPT, whether it was full-time or part-time, pre- or post-completion, and academic level (Bachelor's, Master's, Doctorate) at which each OPT was authorized.
- Have previously been authorized CPT(s): Choose the 'Evidence' section, the 'Previously authorized CPT or OPT' page, and 'Previously authorized CPT or OPT' question. Under 'Additional Information', include the start and end dates of your CPT, whether it was full-time or part-time, and academic level (Bachelor's, Master's, Doctorate) at which each CPT was authorized.
- Are a citizen of three or more countries: Choose the 'About You' section, the 'Your immigration information' page, and the 'What is your country of citizenship or nationality?' question. Under 'Additional Information', indicate your additional nationalities. Be sure to upload copies of each passport under the 'Employment Authorization Document or Government ID' section of Evidence.
4. Review and Submit
- Check that you are within the 30-day window after the date your new I-20 recommending OPT was issued. Do not submit your application if it is outside this timeframe. Contact your OISS adviser for assistance.
- Verify that all information is correct, then digitally sign and submit your application.
5. Pay the Application Fee
- Pay the required application fee of $410 (debit or credit card payment recommended).
- Once you pay the fee, your application will be considered submitted and you can no longer make any changes to it.