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Filing the Form I-765 Online

  • Overview

    This page provides detailed instructions on how to fill out the I-765 for OPT if you are applying online. If you instead wish to file the I-765 by mail, we have a separate resource for that.

    The following instructions are provided as a service solely to the international students of Stony Brook University who are applying for OPT. Due to frequent government updates, VIS may make additions, deletions, or modifications to the contents on this page at any time without prior notice.

    These directions are meant to help you in completing your application but should not be considered legal advice. The US Citizenship and Immigration Services ultimately provides the decision on your OPT application. It is your responsibility, as the applicant, to ensure that your application is accurate and complete before you submit it to the US government. Incomplete applications could result in a delay in processing time or denial. Stony Brook University in no event shall be held liable for any delay, denial, or mistake on your OPT application.

  • Important Reminders

    Important Reminders

    • Do not submit an online application if you have already filed by mail. Duplicate applications may be denied by USCIS. 
    • You may only file Form I-765 online from within the U.S. You are not eligible to apply for OPT from outside the country. 
    • While filing Form I-765 online may be quicker and easier than filing by mail, it does not speed up the time required for USCIS to adjudicate your application.See the USCIS website for current processing times. 
    • Do not file the Form I-765 online until you have received your updated Form I-20 recommending OPT.
    • Once you submit your application, you cannot go back to edit or change information. Please contact your VIS advisor immediately if you believe you have provided incorrect or incomplete information when filing Form I-765. Failing to do so can result in Requests for Evidence (RFEs), processing delays, or the denial of your application by USCIS. 
    • USCIS has the discretion to require biometrics appointmentson a case-by-case basis.
  • How to Apply

    How to Apply

    Step 1: Gather your supporting documents
    Step 2: Create an online account
    Step 3: Begin filing out your application
    Step 4: Review, submit, and pay fee
    Step 4: Track the status of your application
    Step 5: Report the approval of your OPT


  • FAQs


    How do I apply online?
    Do I need to upload all I-20s ever issued?
    Where do I upload my previously issued I-20s for CPT, OPT or previous SEVIS ID numbers?
    When do I pay the fee?
    What type of payment is acceptable?
    Can I save a draft of the application?
    What format and what size should documents be in?
    When do I get my receipt number and notice?
    Can I file my I-765 online while I am outside the U.S.?
    What can I use my USCIS online account for after I have submitted my application?
    Does requesting a Social Security Number (SSN) delay the processing of the Form I-765? Willthe Social Security card be sent together to us with the employment authorization card?
    I am applying for the STEM Extension, for question 1, do I select initial permission to accept employment or renewal of permission?
    Do I need to upload an Institution Accreditation Document?


  • Reporting Requirements

    Understand Your Reporting Requirements

    Students on OPT are required to report any and all changes to employment, address, name, status, etc. within 10 days, and are required to complete scheduled participation reports and evaluations at specific points throughout the extension period. 

    Click here for more information.