If you are preparing to graduate from a U.S. institution soon, and plan on gaining working experience in the country, it's important you apply for the Optional Practical Training (OPT). According to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), OPT is temporary employment that is directly related to an F-1 student’s major area of study. This post will focus on the required and comprehensive list of documents needed to submit a complete application for Post-Completion OPT.
1. A check (preferably in your name) or money order for $410.00, payable to Department of Homeland Security. Be sure to sign and date the check as well as put the I-94 number in the memo section.
2. Two US-style passport photos with name and I-94 number printed lightly in PENCIL on the back. Passport photos must be taken within 30 days of filing the application.
3. Copies of all I-20s received from past and current U.S. institutions.
4. Copy of the most recent passport biographical page. Passport should be valid for at least 6 months at the time the application is expected to be reviewed, or if possible, the entire duration of OPT.
5. Copy of the most recent F1 visa.
6. Copy of I-94 record.
7. The original I-765 form signed in black or blue pen. If applying for pre-completion OPT, use code (c)(3)(A). If post-completion OPT, use (c)(3)(B).
8. Copies of any previous Employment Authorization Documents (EAD) (if applicable).
9. Form G-1145 ( though not compulsory, this is an optional form that you can complete to receive electrical notifications in addition to via mail).
Note: Please make sure to make copies of all documents before sending your application packet to USCIS. Consult with your DSO as to which USCIS lockbox facility to send your application to. You are responsible for ensuring that USCIS receives your OPT application documents within 30 days of your OPT recommendation!
Disclaimer: Educational Connect is not an expert on immigration law. This post should be viewed as a helpful guide, and F-1 students must always seek consultation from their DSO when in doubt.