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Steps to Apply for OPT


Before completing any of these steps, be sure you have attended an OPT Workshop with ISSS.

If you have not done so already, please make sure you attend an OPT Workshop prior to submitting your OPT I-20 request. This is required for all students interested in applying for OPT!
Step 1: Request the OPT I-20
  1. Log in to the ISSS Portal.
  2. Go to Tab 4.
  3. Click on OPT I-20 Request.
  4. Complete the request, including reading the information, taking the quiz, filling out the questionnaire, and including your Academic Advisor’s email.
Step 2: Academic Approval
  • Your Academic Advisor will approve your OPT request and will let ISSS know your expected graduation date.
Step 3: ISSS will issue your OPT I-20
  1. Only after ISSS has received approval from your Academic Advisor will the OPT I-20 be issued. Please note that this process may take up to 7-10 business days.
  2. ISSS will upload the OPT I-20 to the Documents section on Tab 4 of your ISSS Portal.
Step 4: Gather Required Supporting Documents (can be done at the same time as steps 2-3)
  1. You will gather the documents that are required for your OPT Application:
    1. Passport Style Photographs
    2. Scanned copy of the most recent valid Passport ID Page
    3. Scanned copy of your most recent F-1 visa or Change of Status Approval Notice if you changed your status inside the US
    4. Most recent I-94
    5. Scanned copies of all previous I-20s
    6. Scanned copy of OPT I-20
  2. Save these documents in an easily accessible place on your computer.
Step 5: Complete the I-765 Application Step 6: Application Review
  • Watch the video to ensure that you have completed the application correctly. Make sure that you have your OPT I-20 attached before you pay and submit it.
Note: If you pay and submit and are rejected for failing to attach required documents or for missing information, USCIS will not refund your money and you may miss out on the opportunity to reapply. Be sure to review your application very carefully.

Step 7: Submit the Application to USCIS
  1. Make any suggested corrections to your online I-765 and supporting documents.
  2. Finalize the online I-765.
  3. Pay the fee and submit.
  4. You should immediately receive a Receipt Notice of Action.
  5. Report your OPT Application Receipt number to ISSS by logging in to the ISSS Portal, navigating to Tab 4, and clicking OPT/STEM OPT Receipt Number request. 

OPT Timeline ►