Optional Practical Training

Optional Practical Training

OPT Updates for Spring 2023

  • If you are an F-1 student completing your program in Spring 2023, remember that you must first apply to OIS for an I-20 with an OPT recommendation before filing the I-765 application with USCIS.
  • Recorded information sessions about the OPT process from Fall 2022 can be found here.
  • USCIS has recently announced an option to pay ($1500) for premium processing for post-completion OPT applications as well as OPT STEM extensions. Premium processing would reduce expected processing time to 30 days. OIS is still gathering information about the implementation timeline for this process and will update our page when we get clarification.  However, based on the expense and relatively short processing times we are seeing for normally filed petitions, we are not currently recommending that students pursue premium processing for most applications. If you feel your application would require premium processing, please reach out to your OIS advisor to discuss your situation before proceeding.

I-765 Mailing Address

We are again allowing students to use OIS’s address as their mailing address for the I-765 application to USCIS if they have no other stable options. Full conditions and instructions are included in the OPT/ STEM OPT Mail Waiver, which you must complete should you use OIS’s mailing address.

Online Filing of I-765

USCIS has made the I-765 available for online filing for F-1 students applying for pre-, post- or STEM Extension Optional Practical Training (OPT). There may be certain situations where due to very close filing deadlines, filing online may be advantageous. If you have further questions about the online filing of the I-765, please attend an OPT Q&A session or review our guide for filing the Online I-765.

OPT Q&A sessions are held online every Tuesday at 1:00PM and Thursday at 10:00AM. Join the session through the following link: https://ncsu.zoom.us/j/99595429274. Please note you must join the session by 1:30pm (Tuesday) or 10:30am (Thursday). The session will be locked after these times and you will not be able to join using the above mentioned link.

Participants are invited to ask their questions through a group chat function, and the advisor will talk through these questions with everyone in virtual attendance. All participants will be able to hear each question, so if you have a lengthy question or a question of a personal nature, please make an appointment with your advisor. Please note that the Q&A sessions are optional and there is no set presentation; the Q&A sessions just provide an opportunity for students to talk with OIS advisors about any OPT questions they may have. Another thing to note is that this not an I-765 review session, meaning that we will not be going through the I-765 question by question, however if you have a specific I-765 question you can ask this during the session.

How to Apply for OPT:

  1. Complete the OPT Application form and gain all necessary signatures. We will accept electronic signatures on the application form. 
  2. Review the OPT Online Session and complete the quiz at the end of the session
  3. Receive an email from OIS confirming you passed the quiz
  4. Go to go.ncsu.edu/ois-opt-form and complete the Post-Completion OPT Request forms. You will upload a pdf of the quiz results email and your OPT Application form in this process.

An OIS advisor will review your materials and email you if anything is missing. Otherwise, you can expect to receive an email from OIS within 10 business days containing a scanned copy of your new, OPT I-20. With this I-20 copy, you can proceed with mailing your OPT application to USCIS. Please refer to the following resources to assist you in preparing your OPT application:

And don’t forget, if you still have questions, feel free to join an OPT Q&A before you mail your application to USCIS!