Filing the Paper Based Form I-765
This page provides detailed instructions on how to fill out the I-765 if you are applying for the 24-Month STEM Extension by mail. If you instead wish to file the I-765 online, we have a separate resource for that.
USCIS ultimately provides the decision on your STEM application. It is your responsibility, as the STEM applicant, to ensure that your application is accurate and complete before you submit it to the U.S. government.
Download the most recent Form I-765. We strongly recommend that you type your answers to prevent unclear handwriting from causing any issues or delays.
You MUST submit your I-765 and supporting to USCIS before the expiration of your Post-Completion OPT and within 60 days of the issue date of your OPT Form I-20 (listed on page 1, next to your advisor's signature).
After you have completed the request in accessVIS for an I-20 recommending STEM OPT, you must now complete the I-765 Application with USCIS.
VIS will email you a link to download your Form I-20 recommending the 24-Month STEM Extension. Be sure to print and sign this new "STEM I-20" in blue ink. If you notice any mistakes on your I-20 please contact your VIS Advisor immediately.
Once you have been provided with your updated I-20, you are ready to begin the application process for your STEM Extension from USCIS.
Each document for your application should be single-sided. Gather and prepare these items for your application:
- Cover Letter: Addressed to USCIS detailing all documents enclosed.
- $410 Application Fee: Fee payment in the form of a money order, personal check, cashier’s check, or credit card using Form G-1450, Authorization for Credit Card Transactions found at www.uscis.gov. If paying by check, it must have your name and address pre-printed in the top left corner and be made payable to: U.S. Department of Homeland Security. If you have to hand write in either your name or address on the check then we recommend getting a money order instead. Write your SEVIS ID on check/money order. Do NOT send your money order separate from the application. Your money order should be included with your other application materials.
- Passport-Style Photos: Two identical passport-style photographs, issued within the last 30 days, with your name and I-94 # gently written on back. See Department of State’s guidelines.
- Form G-1145: Download from uscis.gov, include your full name, email address and telephone number. This optional form tells USCIS that you’d like to be notified upon receipt of your application.
- Form I-765: Download the most recent Form I-765 from uscis.gov (Fill-able PDF version recommended). Complete and sign by hand. More detailed information on completing the I-765 are listed below.
- I-20 Recommending STEM: This is the STEM-recommended I-20 that you recently received from Stony Brook. Be sure you have signed and dated page 1 in blue ink.
- All Previously Issued I-20s: Provide photocopies of all Form I-20s ever issued to you.
- Passport: A photocopy of your passport identification page, clearly indicating your passport name, nationality, date of birth, and the passport expiration date.
- F-1 Visa: A photocopy of your F-1 visa (except for citizens of Canada and Bermuda)
- Form I-94: Provide a copy of your most recent I-94, clearly indicating that you are in F-1 status. Download your electronic I-94 from CBP's website.
- Admission Stamp: A copy of your most recent admission stamp issued at the port of entry upon your latest arrival to the U.S. (in your passport).
- Previous EAD Card: Provide a photocopy of all previously issued Employment Authorization Documents (EAD).
- Proof of STEM Degree: Provide a photocopy of your Stony Brook University diploma or official transcript with your STEM degree posted.
For those who have had either Curricular Practical Training (CPT) or OPT previously, you need to include evidence documenting your previous CPT and/or OPT authorization. This could include previously issued EAD for OPT or an I-20 that lists CPT or OPT authorization.
Click here for help filling out your Form I-765 if you are filing by mail. The only items from the Form I-765 that are listed on this this page are those that students commonly have questions on or are confused about. Please review each item carefully to ensure your I-765 is filled out correctly.
Incomplete or incorrect applications can cause serious delays, so go over the item checklist in Step 1 one more time and make sure you’ve included everything. Make sure to include the original check / money order, original photos and original I-765 and G-1145. Everything else should be a copy. Keep a photocopy of your complete application for your records. If you have questions about your application, schedule an online advising appointment.
If you decide NOT to apply for or use your STEM you must notify us. If you fail to notify us, your ability to work in the US in the future could be denied.
You MUST submit file your application with USCIS before the expiration of your Post-Completion OPT and within 60 days of the issue date of your STEM Form I-20.
Send your application to the US Citizenship and Immigration Services by FedEx or UPS.
You can use eShipGlobal to get your shipping label at a discounted rate. You can even schedule pick up directly on UEMS (from your residential address) for your OPT packages to be mailed to USCIS office, at no additional cost.
Instructions for Students:
- Go to study.eshipglobal.com to log in or create a free account.
- Select "OPT Application" or "Send Documents to USCIS."
- Enter your mailing information and select the correct USCIS location.
- On the University Information, type SUNY at Stony Brook to avail an additional 10% discount over the already discounted price.
- Select the carrier you want to use, pay for shipping and print the label. Click on Schedule pick up and request for the carrier to pick up from your residence. eShipGlobal is offering pick up at no additional cost to help you during the pandemic situation.
Mail your application to the Direct Filing Address for Form I-765 listed for foreign students.
You can track the status of your I-765 application using your receipt number here.
Contact VIS immediately if you receive a Request for Evidence (RFE) from USCIS, as an updated Form I-20 may be necessary.
Traveling outside of the U.S. is not recommended while your Request for OPT is pending with USCIS.
You should receive an electronic receipt from USCIS within 2-3 weeks. Once you get your receipt notice, log in to accessVIS to return to your 24-month STEM Extension request. Complete and submit the I-797 Receipt Notice form, uploading a copy of your receipt notice issued by USCIS.
Once your request for the 24-month STEM Extension has been adjudicated by USCIS, AND you have received your Employment Authorization Document (EAD), please log in to accessVIS and submit the Employment Authorization Document (EAD) Form within the 24-month STEM Extension request.
If you notice any mistakes on your EAD please contact your VIS Advisor immediately so we can assist you in getting the card corrected.