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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.

The Office of the Citizenship and Immigration Services (CIS) Ombudsman released tips on how F-1 students seeking Optional Practical Training (OPT) can avoid delays in processing the Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization. The tips include:

  • Check USCIS’ website for updates before you submit Form I-765.
  • Make sure Form I-20, Certification of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant Student Status, is signed, dated and endorsed for employment authorization.
  • Apply online.
  • Submit Form I-765 within 30 days or 60 days of the Date Issued by the Designated School Official on the Form I-20.
  • Submit a properly completed Form I-20 together with Form I-765 at the same time.

Update your mailing address with both USCIS and the U.S. Postal Service (USPS).

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