Skip to Content

International Student Services

Changes to the Optional Practical Training Application Process

UPDATE 9/30/2020: A federal district court has issued a nationwide preliminary injunction that prohibits the Department of Homeland Security from enforcing a regulation that was set to increase USCIS filing fees as of October 2, 2020. The I-765 fee will continue to be $410. For more details on the preliminary injunction, review the Fragomen Law Firm announcement. Always check the official USCIS website to confirm the I-765 fee and I-765 version prior to mailing any OPT application.

The International Student Services Office has revised the application materials that are required to receive an OPT or STEM OPT Extension I-20. ISS intends to make the OPT I-20 recommendation process more streamlined for our students. We will continue to audit and improve the OPT I-20 Request Process throughout the 2021-2021 school year, so stay tuned!

What's changed for Pre/Post-Completion OPT: 

You just submit one form to ISS in order to obtain an I-20 for your pre-completion or post-completion OPT application. The new OPT I-20 Request Form still requires that your academic advisor complete a section. But the process is now streamlined. Students do not have to submit any other documents to ISS for review. The Form I-765 does not need to be submitted to ISS. 

What's changed for STEM OPT Extension:

The new STEM OPT Extension I-20 Request Form is new altogether. ISS now requires the STEM OPT Extension I-20 Request Form and the Form I-983 (link available on the ISS Forms Library). The Form I-765 does not need to be submitted to ISS.

The New OPT I-20 Request Process is as follows:
  1. Fill out an OPT I-20 request form (can be completed on your computer and digitally signed)
  1. Wait to receive an email from an ISS immigration advisor.
    • Your completed Request Form will be forwarded to an international student advisor. Plan ahead for the 5-business day response time.
  1. The ISS advisor will issue a new I-20 with an OPT recommendation and will send it to you via email within 5 business days.
  2. You will continue with the OPT application process: mailing the OPT packet with including the I-765, document copies, check, photos, and new I-20 copy.
    • ISS online chat advising is available throughout OPT filing season. 
    • Online chat hours: 9 a.m. - 3 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday; 12 p.m. - 3 p.m. Wednesday; 9 a.m. - 12 p.m. Friday
USCIS Form I-765 Information

Make sure to always check the official USCIS website to see if you are using the most up-to-date Form I-765. You can check the official website here:

If you wish to apply for OPT (or OPT Extension), remember to watch the workshop on our website and send us required documents by email. Please allow 5 business days for processing. You can email your applications and questions to (but please watch the workshop first as it should answer many of the questions you may have).

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.