On January 8, 2020, USCIS changed the filing addresses for F-1 student I-765 filings, including F-1 OPT (pre-completion, post-completion and STEM OPT), off-campus employment with an international organization, and off-campus employment due to severe economic necessity. The USCIS Direct Filing Addresses for Form I-765 page, with a Last Reviewed/Updated date of 01/08/2021, now instructs filers to submit these applications to the USCIS Chicago Lockbox, at:
U.S. Postal Service (USPS):
PO Box 805373
Chicago, IL 60680
FedEx, UPS, and DHL deliveries:
Attn: I-765 C03
131 South Dearborn - 3rd Floor
Chicago, IL 60603-5517
Prior to this change, such applications were filed either at the Phoenix or Dallas lockboxes, depending on where the student resided. These changes were made without advance notice, although on the afternoon of Friday, January 8, 2021 USCIS finally posted the following update on the Form I-765 launch page:
"On Jan. 8, we adjusted the filing location for certain foreign students filing Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization. Please review our Direct Filing Addresses for Form I-765 page to see where you should file your application."
January 13, 2021. NAFSA asked USCIS and the CIS Ombudsman's Office for an explanation, particularly about how applications filed at the old address will be handled. The CIS Ombudsman's Office informed NAFSA that USCIS will transfer I-765s filed at the Phoenix or Dallas lockboxes, and that it has sought clarification from USCIS about whether the I-765s will be forwarded to the Chicago lockbox or directly to the Potomac Service Center, and how long USCIS will continue transferring I-765s filed at Phoenix or Dallas. NAFSA has asked that USCIS update their web pages with this information and further details so that schools and students are not required to rely on informal communications. NAFSA has also asked USCIS to provide a "grace period" for I-765s filed at Phoenix and Dallas after January 8, 2021, given the lack of advance notice.
We will update this page as we receive additional information.