LSU OPT Application Checklist (post-completion)

OPT Application Checklist (post-completion)

  1. ISO Student OPT Application (all forms available on the ISO website)
    • Your application will need to also include
      • OPT acknowledgement form
      • Professor letter (if requesting OPT to begin after completion of degree requirements, but before graduation--PhD and Master's Thesis students only)
    • This application is an internal ISO document and does not go to USCIS with your I-765 application
  2. Check or money order of $410 made payable to "U.S. Department of Homeland Security" (see USCIS Filing Fees-How to Write Your Check​)
    • Always check the I-765 site to confirm the current filing fee amount
    • For all forms of payment, please make sure to write "I-765 fee" and your SEVIS ID in the memo field.
    • For personal checks, the account holder’s name and address must be printed on the check. We do not recommend using starter checks.
    • For cashier's checks and bank issued money orders, your SEVIS ID should be added to the memo.
    • ​If you will file online, your application fee payment will be collected electronically in the application.
  3. Two identical immigration-style/passport photos—taken within the last 30 days
    • Photo must meet Department of State photo requirements
    • Write your full name and I-94 number on the back of each photo
      • If you have an EAD from a previous period of OPT, write your USCIS number on the back of the photos instead of the I-94 number.
    • If you are filing online, you still need to have a passport photo (that meets Department of State requirements) taken. You will need to upload it into your online application. The photo must pass the quality and specifications screening built into the application.
      • For best results use a jpg, jpeg or png file that has a resolution of at least 300 dpi and use the Department of State photo composition tool to crop your digital file (link included in the online application photo evidence page).
  4. Form G-1145 (original) - used to request Lockbox confirmation of receipt of your application
    • If you are filing online, you will not need to prepare this form. Notifications will be sent via your USCIS online account.
  5. Form I-765 (original)
    • If filing a paper application, always retrieve this form directly from the USCIS website to make sure you have the most current form version. If you will file online, you will need to create a USCIS online account, if you do not already have one.
    • We strongly recommend that you read the form filing instructions prior to completing your form. 
      • The Sample I-765 is filled out according to USCIS instructions if you need a visual aid.
    • If you are filing online, you must still include the additional responses that would be entered on page 7 of the paper application.
      • Previous SEVIS IDs statement can be added following these steps.
        • Additional Information > Add a response > Page: About you > Section: Your immigration information > Question: What is your SEVIS ID number?
        • View page 7 of the sample I-765 for examples of remarks.
      • Previous CPT or OPT statement can be added following these steps.
        • Additional information > Add a response > Page: Getting Started > Section: Reason for applying > Question: Have you previously filed form I-765
        • View page 7 of the sample I-765 for examples of remarks.
      • Submit the draft snapshot of your I-765 with your application to ISO.
  6. Most recent I-94 admission record (photocopy)
    • include the front and the back if you have a paper I-94
    • If you are filing online, upload this to the I-94 evidence page
  7. Passport identity/validity page (photocopy)
    • If you are filing online, upload an electronic copy of this document to the EAD evidence page if you do not have a previous EAD card
      • If you have an EAD card, upload it to the I-94 evidence page
  8. Most recent F-1 visa stamp and entry stamp page(s) OR F-1 entry stamp from passport for F-1 students from Canada or Bermuda
    • If you are filing online, upload an electronic copy of this document to the I-94 evidence page
  9. Signed OPT I-20 (photocopy) - This will be provided by ISO. You OPT recommendation will be listed on page two. This I-20 will not be signed for travel unless you have upcoming travel already planned. If so, please let us know at the time you submit your OPT request.
    • IMPORTANT: Your application must be received by USCIS within 30 days of when the OPT I-20 was issued.
  10. Previous CPT I-20s, if any (photocopy)
    • This should include CPT I-20s from LSU and any other schools where you had CPT authorization
  11. Previous OPT I-20s, if any (photocopy)
  12. Previous EAD cards, if any (photocopy of front and back)
  13. Previous I-20s issued under different SEVIS IDs, if any (photocopy)
    • If you previously held J-1 status, include a copy of your previous DS-2019


Print all documents single-sidedDO NOT use staples to attach or assemble your application; use binder clips or paperclips instead. We recommend following the checklist item order for assembling your application (item numbers 2-13). This is based on current USCIS filing tips. Your smallest items (photos and check) go on the top. It is recommended that you place your photos inside either a ziploc bag or a paper envelope to prevent them from being lost during processing. If you use a paper envelope, write "I-765 Photos: Last Name, First Name, I94# or USCIS# (and list the number)" on the outside of the envelope. 


You are responsible for sending your application to USCIS. If you are filing a paper application, we strongly recommend that you use a courier services such as FedEx, UPS, or DHL. If you choose to send it via USPS you should use the express mail option only. It is important to be able to track the application and document that it was delivered. The current filing addresses are below. Always check the USCIS I-765 page before filing your paper application to confirm the current filing location.
USCIS Chicago Lockbox filing address for FedEx, UPS, DHL USCIS Chicago Lockbox filing address for USPS Express Mail
Attn: I-765 C03 (Box 805373)
131 South Dearborn - 3rd Floor
Chicago, IL 60603-5517
U.S. Postal Service (USPS)
Attn: I-765 C03
P.O. Box 805373
Chicago, IL 60680-5374


Sign and scan your OPT I-20 that you received from ISO. Upload the signed copy of this document into the Form I-20 evidence page. Review your application once more for completeness. Do not pay the fee until you have received and uploaded your signed OPT I-20 from ISO. Once you have submitted your application, send a copy of your final I-765 and your I-797C Receipt Notice to ISO.


Within two weeks of filing your application you should receive a paper copy of your I-797C Notice of Receipt for your application to the mailing address on your I-765. Please submit a copy of this to ISO. Please be sure to review your receipt notice carefully. Check the spelling of your name and your date of birth. If there are any errors, contact ISO immediately.
If you receive a Request for Evidence (RFE) or a Denial Notice, send a copy of the communication to ISO right away. These are time sensitive and have the potential to impact your legal F-1 status and your permission to remain in the U.S.

When your EAD card has arrived, submit a copy of the I-797A Approval Notice and the front and back of your EAD to ISO. Remember that you cannot begin employment until the OPT has been approved, you have received the EAD card and the start date printed on it has arrived.