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Aug 2, 2021

USCIS Extends Flexibilities to F-1 Students Filing Form I-765 for OPT

Emily M. Cohen

As reported in our blog of March 1, 2021, on February 26, 2021 USCIS announced flexibilities for certain F-1 students in the filing of Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization (EAD) for Optional Practical Training (OPT). This was due to the substantial delays in issuing receipt notices at certain USCIS lockboxes where these applications are filed. At the time of this announcement, these flexibilities only applied to I-765 forms received by USCIS on or after October 1, 2020 through May 1, 2021. Pursuant to a court order, these flexibilities have been extended to include applications for OPT received at USCIS  from October 1, 2020 through October 31, 2021.

For applicants who timely filed Form I-765 Application for Employment Authorization for OPT and STEM OPT and whose applications were later rejected, USCIS will accept a refiled Form I-765 and treat it as if filed on the original filing date as long as the application was originally filed timely and received by USCIS on or after October 1, 2020, through October 31, 2021 and the application was subsequently rejected.

Refiled applications must be received by  USCIS no later than November 30, 2021 in order to be assigned the original timely date of receipt. For applications received through October 21, 2021, applicants for OPT can file From I-765 up to 120 days before the program, end date.

Please contact our office if you have questions, or if we can be of further assistance.

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Emily M. Cohen

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