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F-1 Students Seeking Optional Practical Training Can Now File Form I-765 Online

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U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services declared that F-1 students seeking optional practical training (OPT) can now file Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, online if they are filing under one of these categories:

  • (c)(3)(A) – Pre-Completion OPT;
  • (c)(3)(B) – Post-Completion OPT; and
  • (c)(3)(C) – 24-Month Extension of OPT for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) students.

OPT is temporary employment that is directly related to an F-1 student’s significant area of study. Eligible students can apply to receive up to 12 months of OPT employment authorization before completing their academic studies (pre-completion) and/or after completing their academic studies (post-completion). Eligible F-1 students who get STEM degrees may apply for a two-year expansion of their post-completion OPT.

“USCIS remains committed to maximizing our online filing capabilities,” said Senior Official Performing the Duties of USCIS Director Tracy Renaud. “The I-765 online filing option permits eligible students to file forms online in a more user-friendly fashion and increases efficiencies for adjudicators.”

Optional Practical Training (OPT)

The option to file Form I-765 online is only available to F-1 students filing Form I-765 for OPT. If a candidate submits Form I-765 online to request employment authorization on or after 15th April 2021 but is eligible for a different employment authorization category. USCIS will deny the application and hold the fee. As USCIS continues to transition to paperless operations. The agency will work to extend online filing for Form I-765 to extra categories.

Online filing permits candidates to submit forms electronically, check the status of their case whenever from any place, and get notices from USCIS online instead of waiting for them in the mail. USCIS is utilizing innovation and technology to meet the needs of candidates, petitioners, and employees. Regardless of the paper or electronic format of an application or petition, USCIS is committed to ensuring a secure and efficient process for all.

[US Work Visa Backlog Increases Amid Coronavirus]

People can file 11 USCIS forms online, which would all be able to be found on the Forms Available to File Online page. To file these forms online, individuals should first create a USCIS online account at This free account allows them to:

  • Submit their forms;
  • Pay their fees;
  • Track the status of their case;
  • Communicate with USCIS through a secure inbox; and
  • Respond to Requests for Evidence.

USCIS continues to accept the latest paper version of these forms by mail.

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