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This article was prepared with the assistance of ABIL, the Alliance of Business Immigration Lawyers, of which Loan Huynh, Fredrikson Immigration Department Chair, is a member.

On September 18, 2023, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Ombudsman’s Office released a tip sheet for F-1 international students on how to avoid delays with adjudications on Form I-765, Applications for Employment Authorization.

The tip sheet includes suggestions for students to check USCIS’ website before submitting their Form I-765 for relevant updates, ensuring that their designated school official (DSO) has provided a properly completed and signed Form I-20, Certification of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant Student Status for submission with the Form I-765, and applying online if possible, as USCIS receives online applications faster. Additional recommendations include submitting Form I-765 within 30 days (if applying for Post-Completion Optional Practical Training) or 60 days (if applying for a STEM Optional Practical Training Extension) after their DSO has entered the appropriate recommendation into their Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) record, and making sure that students update their mailing address with both USCIS and the U.S. Postal Service.

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