17- Month Optional Practical Training Extension Application Instructions

Preferably, applications for 17-month extensions should be filed within 90 – 120 days of the expiration of your currently authorized period of OPT. However, eligibility for the extension continues until the end of your currently authorized period of OPT. To apply for F-1 work authorization, you will need the following:

  • Check for $380.00 payable to Department of Homeland Security: Personal checks and money orders are acceptable.
  • Form I-765 (Application for Employment Authorization): To ensure that you have the most recent version of this form, download it directly from the USCIS website. Scroll down to the Form I-765 Application for Employment Authorization to download the form. You do not need to download the instructions as a simplified version is provided below. We recommend typing the application using the fillable form to avoid errors on the employment authorization card that you will receive.
    • In item 3, write your name and address(if there is a possibility that you may change your address while the OPT application is pending, we recommend that you put Immigration Services address instead; write “UMass Med School-HR-333 South Street, Shrewsbury, MA 01545”).
    • In items 14 and 15, write “F-1 student.”
    • In item 16, write "c" inside the first set of parentheses, “3” in the second set and "C" inside the third set for Optional Practical Training STEM extension.
    • Item 17 MUST be completed for the STEM extension. The name of the degree should be written as it is shown on your Form I-20. You must obtain the E-verify information with your current employer before completing the form.
    • sign your name in the certification section of the form - your signature should not cross the lines.
  • Two passport-style photographs that meet the Department of State’s non-immigrant photo requirements: Print your name on the back of each photo. Do not cut photos to size; USCIS will cut them to their specifications.
  • Copy of your degree reflecting the conferred degree as well as your major field of study: Submit either an official transcript, unofficial transcript or copy of the diploma showing the level and program of study.
  • F-1 immigration documents: Photocopies of all Form I-20’s issued for you, Form I-94 (front and back), F-1 entry visa stamp, and passport identity page(s). If you have previously been approved for OPT, include copies of the Employment Authorization Document(s).
  • Acknowledgement of Optional Practical Training (OPT) Responsibilities.

Once you have compiled the application materials listed above, you must make an appointment with Immigration Services. We will review your application, put the required notations into the SEVIS system and issue a new Form I-20 indicating that the OPT request has been approved at UMMS.

MAKE COPIES OF EVERYTHING FOR YOUR OWN RECORDS BEFORE YOU SEND THE APPLICATION TO USCIS. We suggest you mail this application at the post office by "certified mail/return receipt requested" or express mail.*


For U.S. Postal Service deliveries:   For Express mail and courier service deliveries:

P.O. Box 660867
Dallas, TX 75266


Attn: AOS
2501 S. State Hwy. 121, Business
Suite 400
Lewisville, TX 75067


*The address above applies for residents of Massachusetts. If you live outside of Massachusetts, please refer to the I-765 instructions (page 10) to determine where to file your application.

F-1 Optional Practical Training - Post-Completion OPT Application Instructions - Responsibilities of F-1 students on OPT - Information about the 17 month OPT extension - Limits on employment / unemployment during OPT - Cap-Gap OPT Extenstion