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USCIS Extends Flexibilities to Certain Applicants Filing Form I-765 for OPT

The message below was sent to all students in F-1 status with a pending or requested OPT or STEM OPT.

You are receiving this email because the Office of International Services (OIS) recently issued you an I-20 with an OPT or STEM OPT recommendation and your request is still in Pending or Requested status. As you may be aware, USCIS is experiencing delays in issuing receipt notices for form I-765 filings. As a result of these delays, USCIS is extending flexibilities to some OPT and STEM applicants who filed their form I-765 on or after October 1, 2020. Please carefully review the full USCIS statement online.

The flexibilities include:

  • Providing students with a full 12-month period of OPT even if the OPT end date will extend beyond the allowed period of 14 months after the end of the student’s program. This provision also allows students with an approved period of less than 12 months to request a corrected EAD with a new end date.
  • Allowing students whose initial application was rejected to reapply even if it’s beyond the required application timeframe. A new I-20 from OIS is not required when reapplying.
  • Issuing a request for evidence (RFE) for applications that have been receipted and have missing or deficient signatures instead of denying the application.

If you believe you are eligible for one of the flexibilities being afforded by USCIS, please reach out to us at [email protected] to discuss your situation. It is important that OIS is aware of your plans so we can advise you and help ensure that your F-1 SEVIS record is properly updated.

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