USCIS begins online filing for OPT form

Published 14/04/2021

US Citizenship and Immigration Services has said that F-1 students seeking temporary employment via Optional Practical Training can file a necessary document online.

Delays in processing receipts for the Form I-765, used to apply to USCIS for an Employment Authorization Document, and backlogs at Lockbox locations in the US caused “despair” for applicants earlier this year, resulting in students filing a lawsuit against USCIS and ICE.

By permitting students to file the Form I-765 online, USCIS remains “committed to maximising our online filing capabilities”, it said.

“The I-765 online filing option allows eligible students to file forms online in a more user-friendly fashion and increases efficiencies for adjudicators,” said senior official performing the duties of USCIS director Tracy Renaud.

In a statement to The PIE, NAFSA said it “welcomes any steps that USCIS takes to address processing and adjudication backlogs and to increase the efficiency and fairness of the US immigration system, particularly as regards international students and scholars”.

“Ideally, USCIS will also provide training webinars on how to use the e-filing system”

“As this is a new initiative, NAFSA also urges USCIS to provide students who choose to file for OPT online with flexibility, while both the agency and the students learn the new system,” NAFSA’s director, Immigration Practice Resources, David Fosnocht said.

“Ideally, USCIS will also provide training webinars on how to use the e-filing system specifically for this purpose, including how to submit fees and supporting documentation, and what to expect in the new process.”

The organisation is also keeping a track of developments on this topic on its I-765 web page, Fosnocht added.

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