Filing the Form I-765 Online
This page provides detailed instructions on how to fill out the I-765 if you are applying for the 24 month STEM Extension online. If you instead wish to file the I-765 for STEM 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 the 24 month STEM Extension. 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 STEM 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 STEM application.
- 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 STEM Extension 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 websitefor current processing times.
- Do not file the Form I-765 online until you have received your updated Form I-20 recommending STEM 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 appointments on a case-by-case basis.
You MUST submit your I-765 and supporting documents 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).
How to Apply
It is best to have digital versions of all required documents ready in a folder to drag and drop into the USCIS system. Make sure the files are clear and readable, not encrypted or passport-protected, in English, and in one of the following accepted file formats: JPG, JPEG, PDF, TIF, or TIFF.
To complete the I-765, you must have these documents:
- Passport Style Photograph:Photos must be taken within the last 30 days and cannot have previously been used for a passport, visa, or other US government-related application. See Department of State’s guidelines.
- Form I-94: Download your electronic I-94 from CBP's website.
- Previously issued Employment Authorization Document (EAD): Scans of both the front and back.
- I-20 Recommending STEM Extension: Be sure you have signed and dated page 1 using blue ink. This is the STEM-recommended I-20 that you recently received from Stony Brook.
- All previously issued I-20s: Provide copies of all Form I-20s ever issued to you (no larger than 6MB per file).
- 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.
Create an online account at USCIS or sign into an already existing account. You will be required to provide a valid phone number where you can receive a verification code for two-factor authentication, which will be required every time you log in.
Go to “File a Form” to get started and select I-765. Read through the information carefully.
Please note: Your responses on the online I-765 will be automatically saved. If you log out, you may log back in and resume where you left off last time.
Click here for help filling out your Form I-765 online. 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.
Once you review your application and no errors or incomplete fields pop up, you can submit, confirm you can read and understand English, and then digitally sign. You will then be taken to pay the fee through pay.gov. You can pay with credit card, debit card, or U.S. checking or savings account.
Once you receive your receipt notice in the mail, 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.
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 STEM OPT Extension is pending with 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.
Understand Your Reporting Requirements
Students on STEM 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.
Download the STEM Calculator to determine and track your reporting deadlines.
For more information, review our Reporting Requirements for STEM OPT page.