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OPT Application Guidance During COVID-19

In order to further enforce social distancing measures and the safety of the Tulane community amidst COVID-19, we are establishing the below process to ensure that we are still able to guide you through putting together your OPT application. This new process specifically addresses how to submit your documents to OISS in order for us to process your new ‘OPT Requested’ I-20.  We will no longer be putting the packet together for you which means that this will be your responsibility, and the instructions for that are found below. For general complete instructions and regulations regarding OPT we suggest that you visit our website and main application form.

STEP 1

You must e-mail scans of the documents below to oiss@tulane.edu in PDF format only.  Please try to keep the number of PDF files to a minimum (ideally all in one PDF). If the file size of one PDF is too big then feel free to split the PDFs and send it in multiple e-mails:

  1. Optional Practical Training Application. You must complete the top portion of the form and your academic advisor must complete the bottom portion.
  2. Completed and signed Form I-765 (for complete instructions on filling it out click here). You may also download form I-765 from through our OPT Packet). Some fields have been pre-filled for you, please leave them that way. If you have participated in any previous CPT, OPT, or have had a different SEVIS ID this needs to be indicated on Page 7 of the Form I-765.
  3. Completed Form G-1145: E-Notification of Application/Petition Acceptance
  4. Your I-94
  5. Passport page that has your photo and passport expiration date
  6. F-1 visa page in your passport
  7. Copies of previous I-20’s where CPT or OPT were authorized, or a different SEVIS ID number was used.
  8. 1 copy of your previous EAD card (front and back) if you answer “yes” to question #12 in Part 2 on the I-765. (In other words, if you have applied for employment authorization or OPT in the past.) Please also refer to page 5 of this packet for additional instructions.
  9. A personal check, cashier’s check or money order for $410.00, made payable to Department of Homeland Security.  If you would like to use a U.S. credit card (not debit) to pay this fee you must fill out G-1450 (available in the OPT application link above).
  10. Credit/debit card payment of $140.00 to Tulane University. In an effort to ease the process and avoid additional mailing at this time we are only accepting card payments for this fee. You can do so here. This is an administrative fee to off-set resources needed to process compliance for this benefit.
  11. Two U.S. passport size photographs with a white background, taken in the last 30 days, with your name and SEVIS # written in pencil on the back of the pictures. Refer to the image below for the correct dimensions. No Glasses are allowed and pictures must not have been used for a previous passport or visa application. For more information about acceptable photos, visit Department of State's Travel Website.

*Please note: If you would like to opt out from sending a scan of a check or Form G-1145 due to security concerns you may do so. It would be your responsibility to make sure that you have followed the payment instructions correctly.

STEP 2

After the OISS receives your complete application, please allow about 5 business days for a response.  Once we start working on your application we will:

  1. Verify your eligibility to apply for OPT;
  2. If eligible, enter a recommendation for OPT in the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS);
  3. We will mail you a new Form I-20 (and e-mail you a scanned copy so that you can assemble your packet) showing the recommendation for OPT. We will also provide you with this insert which includes detailed instructions on the next steps.

STEP 3

After you receive the I-20 and the copy of it from OISS, please make sure that you sign both. Only include the signed copy of your I-20 and not the original I-20 in the packet that you mail to USCIS. After that you will be responsible for assembling your packet. Make sure you staple the packet in the following order from top to bottom:

  1. Payment Method (If you are paying with a check/money order, staple this to the first page of the I-765; if you are paying with a credit card using form G-1450 that needs to be the first page on the packet.)
  2. Original Form I-765
  3. Original Form G-1145
  4. I-94
  5. Copy of EAD Card (Only if applicable.)
  6. Copy of Passport ID Page
  7. Copy of Visa
  8. Copy of previous I-20s (Only if applicable.)
  9. Copy of New “OPT Requested” I-20 provided in this envelope.
  10. Photos (Make sure this is in a secure envelope so that they do not fall out.)

STEP 4

Follow the final instructions and mail out your packet:

  • USCIS must receive the packet within 30 days of the issue date on your new OPT I‐20 and before the end of your 60 day grace period, or your application will be denied.
  • You may send the application through the USPS or through private delivery companies like FedEx or UPS. No matter what mailing service you choose, make sure to use a tracking option so that you can confirm the delivery of your application.
  • Send the complete original application packet to the appropriate address below for the delivery service that you choose:

For U.S. Postal Service (USPS)                

USCIS Dallas Lockbox
USCIS
P.O. Box 660867
Dallas, TX 75266
 

For Express Mail or Courier (ex. FedEx, UPS, etc)

USCIS

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

Complete next steps instructions can be found here. A copy of it will be provided to you when you receive your new I-20.