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By Immigration Group

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.

Under a court order, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) extended flexibilities for certain foreign students affected by delayed receipt notices for Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization. USCIS said the extension includes applications received on or after October 1, 2020, through October 31, 2021. Applicants can file Form I-765 up to 120 days before the program end date if the application is received by October 31, 2021.

For applicants who timely filed Form I-765 for Optional Practical Training (OPT) and Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) OPT and whose applications were later rejected, USCIS will accept a refiled Form I-765 as filed on the original filing date if:

  • The original, timely filed application was received on or after October 1, 2020, through October 31, 2021; and
  • USCIS subsequently rejected it.

For USCIS to treat the application as though filed on the original received date, refiled applications must be received by November 30, 2021.

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