May 23, 2008

Individuals should now begin using the latest revised Form I-765, edition date 05/27/2008 (look for "Form I-765 (Rev. 05/27/08) N" in the bottom right corner).

The form and instructions have been changed to implement the new optional practical training (OPT) regulations, and to incorporate a change in address for the Chicago lockbox. The latest edition of the form should be used by all applicants (not just F-1 students) who need to file Form I-765 for any other purpose as well. USCIS will only accept prior versions until July 8, 2008.

A Confusing Background

In April, 2008, USCIS posted a new Form I-765 (edition date 04/08/08) with instructions that the prior version of the form (edition date 7/30/07) would be accepted only through May 8, 2008. On April 24, a USCIS Press Release announced that the deadline was extended until July 8, 2008. On May 20, 2008, however, USCIS posted yet another version of Form I-765 (edition date 05/27/08), with instructions that the two most recent prior versions of the form (edition dates 04/08/08 and 07/30/07) would be accepted only through June 22, 2008.

In response to a NAFSA inquiry, DHS stated on May 23, 2008, that the USCIS "web team is working on correcting the date on which the previous versions (4/8/08 and 7/30/07) are accepted to 7/8/08 (not 6/22/08) to be consistent with our press release."

Download the New I-765

Changes made in the 4/08/08 edition that continue to be included in the 5/27/08 edition:
  • The eligibility code for an F-1 student seeking optional practical training (OPT) has been changed. The prior eligibility code (c)(3)(i) will no longer be used for OPT, and has been replaced with the following three codes:
    • (c)(3)(A) for pre-completion OPT,
    • (c)(3)(B) for post-completion OPT, and
    • (c)(3)(C) for a 17-month STEM OPT extension
  • Item 17 asks for information needed to process applications for the 17-month STEM OPT extension, including spaces for the degree conferred and the employer's E-Verify Company or Client Identification Number. This item must only be completed by STEM students applying for the 17-month extension, and does not have to be completed by students (including STEM students) applying for standard pre-completion OPT or standard post-completion OPT. i.e., this item must be completed only if the basis for the application is (c)(3)(C).
  • The instructions to the form state that a student applying for the 17-month STEM OPT extension must also submit “a copy of your degree.” The instructions on the USCIS I-765 form launch page on the Web state further that the student must submit “a copy of your degree reflecting the conferred degree as well as your major field of study.”

Other Resources is NAFSA’s OPT Update Page on the Web

Click the Practice Advisory link in the box to the right for a printable version of this advisory.