The following OPT application document check-list is for students appying for pre-completion or post-completion OPT. Students applying for the 24 month STEM extension should visit the STEM Extension Application Check-List.

  1. G-1145 e-Notification of Application/Petition Acceptance.Use this form to request a text and/or email when USCIS accepts your I-765. Clip this form to the first page of your application package.
  2. Two US-style passport photos with your name and I-94 number on the back of each photo.
  3. Original and complete I-765
    • Your U.S. Mailing Address: We recommend using an address that is valid at least 4 months into the future.
    • If applying for pre-completion OPT, use code (c)(3)(A) in line 27. If post-completion OPT, use (c)(3)(B). Students will upload a copy of the I-765 when completing the OPT Request e-form in iStart.
    • You are encouraged to type your answers within the I-765 PDF but you must sign the form by hand and in black ink on page 5. Electronic signatures are not accepted by USCIS.
  4. Include the filing fee. 
    • Check or money order for the I-765 filing fee shoudl be made payable to US Department of Homeland Security. Please review USCIS’s website for the filing fee amount,
    • If paying by check, do not use a starter check which does not contain one’s name and address printed on the top left corner of the check. Be sure to sign and date the check as well as put the I-94 number in the memo/”for” section. If the address is incorrect, do not cross out and change – leave it as is.
    • Students who do not have a check with a name and address should use a money order. Make sure to write I-94 # on the Money Order. Do not write on the back of your check/money order.
    • If paying filing fee by credit card (Visa, Mastercard, American Express, or Discover) you must complete Form G-1450, Authorization for Credit Card Transaction and mail with your application.
  5. Copy of new I-20 containing your signature on page 1 and the OPT recommendation on page 2.
  6. Copy of I-94 record.
    • If you have an electronic I-94 record, obtain and print it at If you still have a paper I-94, include a copy of the front and back of your I-94 card. The paper I-94 card is the white card typically stapled in the passport.
  7. Copy of the most recent F1 visa.
    • Students who do not have a F1 visa because of changing status in the US should include a copy of the most recent visa and the I-797 verifying F-1 status approval. (If you are a Canadian citizen, you may enclose a copy of your citizenship card or a birth certificate & a government-issued photo ID rather than a copy of the visa)
  8. Copy of the biographical page from your passport (with expiration date at least 6 months in the future or proof of application for a new passport).
  9. If applicable, copies of any previous I-20 Forms with OPT or CPT authorizations listed. Note, your signature is expected to be listed on page 1 on all I-20 forms.
  10. If applicable, copies of any previous EAD cards for OPT

Note: Please make sure to make copies of all documents before sending your application packet to USCIS.

You are responsible for ensuring that USCIS receives your OPT application documents within 30 days of your OPT recommendation!

For post-completion OPT, students may file the Form I-765 up to 90 days prior to the I-20 program end date and no later than 60 days after the I-20 program end date.