Information to assist OPT application
OPT is a valuable benefit of being an F-1 student. This information will help you apply for OPT.
You may apply for post completion OPT up to 90 days ahead of your graduation or up to 60 days after your graduation. As with most USCIS applications, it is generally an advantage to apply as soon as possible, and it can take some time for USCIS to adjudicate your application and send you the EAD (Employment Authorization Document).
The usual steps to apply for OPT employment:
- Schedule an appointment with Sonja Paulson, Assistant Director of Intercultural Affairs.
- Determine what dates you want for your OPT, and most especially your OPT start date. Your start date can be the day you complete your studies up to 60 days after the day you complete your studies. Most students are eligible for 12 months of full time post completion OPT, and if your primary major is a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering or Mathematics) major and you and your employer agree to certain things you may be able to extend OPT by 17 additional months for 29 months total.
- Read information about the I-765 form presented by USCIS including the instructions.
- Complete the I-765 form.
- We suggest that for your address you use c/o Concordia College ICA Office, 901 8th Street S, Moorhead, MN 56562, and be sure to provide us your email address and mobile phone number so we can get the card to you. Mail to this address will always be delivered and will never be returned. If you use a different address and the mail is returned to USCIS, it becomes difficult, expensive, and time consuming for you to receive your card.
- On Line 10, please use your most recent I-94 number.
- On Line 16, please use (c)(3)(B) for standard post completion OPT.
- A completed application includes these materials in this order:
- A check or money order payable to U. S. Department of Homeland Security for $380
- Your completed I-765
- Copy of front and back of I-94 card
- Copy of I-20 recommending OPT and of all prior I-20s.
- Photocopy of passport ID page and most recent F-1 visa.
- Copy of any prior EAD's (if any)
- Two identical passport style photographs
- Please make an appointment and ask Sonja to review your OPT application by calling (218) 299-4517 or emailing her. Please bring your application and one complete copy to your appointment - we will scan the copy for Concordia records, and return the copy to you so you can retain a complete copy.
- Mail your completed application to:
PO Box 21281
Phoenix, AZ 85036
Or courier to:
1820 E. Skyharbor Circle S
Phoenix, AZ 85034
When you are on your period of OPT, please keep these this helpful information in mind.