I-765 Guide: STEM OPT

I-765 Guide for STEM OPT

USCIS I-765 Instructions

USCIS Instructions can be found here. Skip to page 21 for detailed instructions.  

 

All eligible F-1 students must receive a STEM OPT Recommendation I-20 from ISSO BEFORE submitting an online or paper OPT STEM Extension application to USCIS.

 

General Instructions

  1. Print Form I-765 single-sided. 

  2. If a question does not apply to you, type or print “N/A” unless otherwise directed. If your answer to a question which requires a numeric response is zero or none, type or print “None” unless otherwise directed. 

  3. If you cannot type your response on the form for whatever reason, handwrite your response in black ink pen.  

 

Part 1

  • Select Item 1a “Initial permission to accept employment.” 

 

Part 2

Your Full Legal Name
  • Item 1 – enter your full legal name. ISSO advises that you enter your full legal name so that it most closely matches your passport, F-1 visa, and I-20. 

Other Names Used
  • Item 2-4 – provide all other names you have ever used, including aliases, maiden name, and nicknames. If you need extra space to complete this section, use the space provided in Part 6. 

Your U.S. Mailing Address
  • Item 5 – enter the mailing address where you would like USCIS to mail your receipt notice, approval notice, and EAD card. ISSO advises to use a mailing address that is a safe place to receive mail for the next four months. If you think you will change address in the next four months, or if you would like a secure place to receive mail, then students are encouraged to use the ISSO address as their mailing address: 

  • Item 5a – “International Student and Scholars” 

  • Item 5b – “2229 Lincoln Way” 

  • Item 5c – Check “Ste.” and write “4530MU” in the box 

  • Item 5d – “Ames” 

  • Item 5e – “IA” 

  • Item 5f – “50014” 

  • Item 6 – if you used your personal living address in Item 5, then check “Yes”. It you used another address where you do not physically live, then check “No”. 

U.S. Physical Address
  • Item 7 – if you checked “No” to Item 6, provide your living address in the fields provided. If you checked “Yes” to Item 6, leave this section blank. 

Other Information 
  • Item 8 – enter the A-number (also called USCIS #) from your current EAD card.

  • Item 9 – Provide your USCIS Online Account Number if you have knowingly signed up for one 

  • Item 10 – check the applicable box. 

  • Item 11 – check the applicable box. If you are married, select “Married,” even if your spouse is in another visa status, or if they are not in the United States at all. 

  • Item 12 – check “Yes,” because you previously filed a Form I-765 for your post-completion OPT application.

  • Item 13a – check “Yes,” because as a person who has legally worked in the United States before, you should have had a Social Security card issued to you.

  • Item 13b – enter your Social Security Number (SSN) if you have been issued one. ISSO advises students to always be extra cautious in providing your SSN – for security reasons, you do not need to enter your SSN for a document review with ISSO, but be sure to provide your SSN before mailing your application to USCIS. 

  • Item 14 – if you have been issued a Social Security card, select “No”. Skip to 18a. If you have never been issued a Social Security card (meaning you have never worked in the United States) and you want to request one, then select “Yes”. Complete 15-17b. 

  • Item 15 – only select “Yes” if you selected “Yes” to Item 14. Otherwise, leave these boxes blank. 

  • Item 16-17 – only provide this information if you if you selected “Yes” to Item 14. Otherwise, leave these boxes blank. 

Your Country of Countries of Citizenship or Nationality
  • Item 18 – in 18a, provide your country of citizenship or nationality. If you are a citizen of more than one country, provide the name of the country that issued your last passport.  

Place of Birth
  • Item 19 – provide information about your place of birth. If the country’s name has changed or no longer exists, provide the country name at the time of your birth.  

  • Item 20 – enter your date of birth in the proper format provided (mm/dd/yyyy). 

Information About Your Last Arrival in the United States
  • Item 21 – provide information about the last time you entered the United States. 

  • Item 21a – this is the “Admission (I-94) Record Number” from your most recent I-94. You can locate your I-94 on the Customs and Border Protection webpage

  • Item 21b – enter the passport number from your currently valid passport. If you entered the U.S. with a different passport, please provide information about previous passport in Part 6.  You will need to provide a copy of both passports in your OPT application.   

  • Item 21c – provide your Travel Document Number, if any.  

  • Item 21d – enter the country your passport is from. 

  • Item 21e – enter the expiration date of your currently valid passport.

  • Item 22 – enter the date you last arrived in the United States (this should match the date on your I-94 (email ISSO@iastate.edu if they do not match). 

  • Item 23 – enter the Port of Entry where you went through U.S. Customs (this is usually the city you entered with a large international airport). 

  • Item 24 – enter the immigration status you had when you last entered the United States (this should match the “Class of Admission” on your I-94). If F-1, write “F-1 Student”. 

  • Item 25 – enter “F-1 Student”. 

  • Item 26 – enter your current SEVIS number as it appears on your I-20 (note: the “N” is already there, so only enter the numbers). 

Information About Your Eligibility Category
  •  

    Item 27 – for STEM OPT, enter a lower-case letter “c”, the number “3”, then a capital letter “C” –( c ) ( 3 ) ( C ).Item 28 –provide information about your STEM degree.

  • Item 28a – provide your degree level and major, you can write in black pen or abbreviate as needed (example: “PhD Computer Science”).

    • Item 28b –enter your employer’s name as it appears in the E-verify system.

    • Item 28c –provide the employer’s E-verify company ID number. Note: this is not the EIN – the E-verify company ID number will be 4 to 7 digits long and will not contain a dash. You will likely need to request that your employer provides you with this number

 

Part 3 

Applicant's Statement
  • Item 1-2 – check the appropriate box. 

Applicant's Contact Information
  • Item 3-5 – enter your contact information. 

  • Item 6 – do not check the box (unless eligible). 

Applicant's Signature
  • Item 7 – after printing, sign and date in black ink pen. It must be your original, handwritten signature and USCIS will not accept stamped or typewritten names. Be sure to use the correct date format (mm/dd/yyyy). 

 

Part 4 

  • Do not answer Part 4, unless you have an interpreter. 

 

Part 5 

  • Do not answer Part 5, unless you have a preparer. 

 

Part 6 

Additional Information

This section is to be completed if you have additional information to provide USCIS. If you need more space than what is provided, you can make copies of page 7. Sign and date at the bottom of each additional page. 

  • Item 1 – enter you name as it appeared in Part 2, Item 1

  • Item 2 – enter your A-number again (see Part 2, Item 8).

  • Item 3 – enter information about your previous OPT authorization.

    • Reference Page Number 2, Part Number 2, Item Number 12 in boxes a, b, c

    • In box d, provide information about your previous OPT:

      • Line 1: Write “Post-completion OPT”

      • Line 2: Write start and end dates of OPT as they appear on your previous EAD card

      • Line 3: Write the education level at which OPT was authorized

      • Line 4: Write the receipt number (this should be on our current EAD as the “Card #”).

  • Item 4 - If you have received a new passport since you entered the U.S. last, please provide details for the passport used to enter the U.S.

    • Reference Page 3, Part 2, Item 21.b in boxes a, b, c
    • In box d, provide your passport number, issuing country and expiration date 
  • After printing, sign and date the bottom of Page 7 (below box 7d).

 

Disclaimer: An OPT/STEM application is filed by you, not by ISSO or the university.  You are responsible for preparing and filing a complete, true, and correct OPT/STEM application. ISSO offers general guidance and information to assist with the preparation of your OPT/STEM application. However, our staff members are not immigration attorneys. Information and guidance provided by ISSO is not legal advice or counsel, and may not apply to every or your situation. US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) may change its interpretation of immigration regulations, eligibility requirements for benefits, and application procedures at any time and with very little notice. It is your responsibility to ensure that your OPT/STEM application is prepared and filed in accordance with the USCIS guidance, regulations, forms, and procedures in effect at the time you file your application.