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
- Log in to the ISSS Portal.
- Go to Tab 4.
- Click on OPT I-20 Request.
- Complete the request, including reading the information, taking the quiz, filling out the questionnaire, and including your Academic Advisor’s email.
- Your Academic Advisor will approve your OPT request and will let ISSS know your expected graduation date.
- 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.
- ISSS will upload the OPT I-20 to the Documents section on Tab 4 of your ISSS Portal.
- You will gather the documents that are required for your OPT Application:
- Passport Style Photographs
- Scanned copy of most recent valid Passport ID Page
- Scanned copy of most recent F-1 visa or Change of Status Approval Notice if you changed your status inside the US
- Most recent I-94
- Scanned copies of all previous I-20’s
- Scanned copy of OPT I-20
- Save these documents in an easily accessible place on your computer.
- ISSS has information for creating an online USCIS account and completing the online I-765.
- Follow the instructional videos at the above link for step-by-step instructions to fill out the online I-765.
- DO NOT PAY THE FEE OR SUBMIT THE APPLICATION UNTIL YOU MEET WITH AN ISSS ADVISOR AND REVIEW YOUR APPLICATION.
- Meet with an ISSS advisor to review your application before submitting to USCIS.
- Make any suggested corrections to your online I-765 and supporting documents.
- Finalize the online I-765.
- Pay the fee and submit.
- You should immediately receive a Receipt Notice of Action.
- 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.