Follow all three steps. Read these instructions carefully to ensure smooth processing of your OPT application. If you have questions, contact the ISSS office or come to Advising Walk-In Hours held Monday – Thursday.

STEP ONE: Submit the following item to the ISSS office for processing of the OPT I-20:

  • Completed academic advisor’s recommendation form. Mark on the form whether you are applying for Pre or Post Completion OPT.

STEP TWO: While waiting to receive your new OPT I-20 from the ISSS, collect the items below which are needed to apply for OPT. Your OPT application must be mailed from the United States.

  • Complete Form G-1145, E-Notification of Application/Petition Acceptance and attach it to the Form-I 765 (This document must be on top of all other requested materials.)
  • Complete Form I-765

Type the form online then print it out and sign your name with a blue ink pen in the signature space provided on the I-765

For Question 3: This address determines which of the two USCIS Lockbox Facilities should receive your application. See page 4 for the Lockbox Facility list and the states they serve.

The residential address may be either your own address or a friend or family member who can send the EAD card to you when it arrives. You may also use the ISSS office address. If you are using the ISSS address, we will send you an e-mail when the Receipt Notice and EAD card arrive. You should write the ISSS address as follows: Start the address at item 2 (even though it asks for “other names used,” this is okay).
Binghamton Univ Intl Stu Office
PO Box 6000
Binghamton, NY 13902-6000

If you are using a friend or family’s address on the I-765 Form, be sure your name is on the mailbox or you write the current address as: c/o your friend’s name. Because of security reasons, the U.S. Postal Service will not deliver mail from USCIS to a residential address unless the name on the envelope matches the name on the mailbox.

To avoid confusion, be sure to also use the same address as your return address on the outside of the envelope when mailing your application.

Answering Question 16: The answer for question 16 depends on the type of OPT authorization you are applying for:

Pre-Completion OPT (before you graduate) - (C)(3)(A)

Post-Completion OPT (after graduation) – (C)(3)(B)

17-month Extension of OPT (STEM Program graduates, OPT after initial 12 month OPT) – (C)(3)(C)

Answering Question 17: Only answer question 17 if you are applying for the 17-month extension of OPT and meet the eligibility requirements.

  • $380 fee - Only send a personal check or money order made payable to U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Note – NEVER send cash with your application. USCIS never accepts cash payments. Only personal checks or money orders are accepted. If you send cash, your application will be returned and you will need to re-submit it again.
  • Photocopy of most recent I-94 card (both sides) and most recent visa stamp inside your passport (If you need to print out your I-94, do so online.)
  • Photocopy of the identity pages in your passport which include your picture, date of birth, validation dates, expiration date and passport number
  • Two passport-style photos with a white background. Read the important instructions on photo requirements on page 3
  • Include copies of all of your I-20s
  • Photocopy (not original) of your new I-20 for OPT (pages 1 and 3) from ISSS
  • Photocopies of all I-20s you have received in the past from ISSS
  • Photocopies of all I-20s issued to you in the past from other U.S. schools you have attended
  • Copy of any previous EAD card (both sides) if you were issued one

STEP THREE: Mail the following items together in one packet to the USCIS Lockbox Facility serving your state.

* Completed Form G1145 attached to top of I-765 Form

* Completed I-765 Form with photos and check or money order attached (Be sure to keep a copy of this form.)

* $380 fee (check or money order only – do not send cash)

* Copy of your I-94 card (both sides) or print our from CBP website

* Copy of the visa stamp inside your passport

* Copy of the identity pages in your passport

* Copy of your new OPT I-20 signed by ISSS staff and you

* Copies of all previous I-20s from other schools (if you attended any other schools)

* Copy of previous EAD card (if you have one)

Note: The OPT application must be received at the USCIS Lockbox facility within 30 days of the date your OPT I-20 was issued (see item 10 on page 1 of the I-20 for the issue date). If your OPT I-20 is more than 30 days old and you have not yet filed the application with USCIS, contact the Office of International Student and Scholar Services so we can reprint a new I-20 for you.

· The application must be mailed from the United States.

· An ISSS advisor is happy to look over your application before you mail it to be sure all is correct. Come to one of the Advising Walk-In Hours on Monday - Thursday.

· Make a copy of everything you are sending in case it gets lost in the mail.

· Mail it to the appropriate USCIS Lockbox facilitydepending upon the address listed on the I-765 Form. (The list of USCIS Lockbox facilitiesis on page 4 of this document).  

· To be sure it arrives to the USCIS Lockbox facility, we strongly encourage you to mail it certified (“registered”) mail or via express mail (DHL, FedEx, UPS, or USPS). When mailing documents in these ways, you will receive proof that it arrived to its destination.

· If you are using a friend or family’s address on the I-765 Form, be sure either your name is on the mailbox or you write the current address as: c/o your friend’s name. Because of security reasons, the U.S. Postal Service will not deliver mail from USCIS to a residential address unless the name on the envelope matches the name on the mailbox. 

Lockbox locations for filing the I-765 for F-1 Optional Practical Training applications are as follows:

For those filing I-765 employment authorization applications, with a mailing address in: Alabama, Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Mississippi, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, U.S. Virgin Islands, or West Virginia

The mailing address is:

For U.S. Postal Service deliveries:

PO Box 660867
Dallas, Texas 75266

For express mail and courier deliveries:


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

For those filing I-765 employment authorization applications, with a mailing address in: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington, Wisconsin, Wyoming, Guam, or the Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands.

The mailing address is:

For U.S. Postal Service deliveries:

PO Box 21281
Phoenix, AZ 85036

For express mail and courier deliveries:


Attn: AOS
1820 E. Skyharbor Circle S
Suite 100
Phoenix, AZ 85034

The ISSS encourages anyone filing an application with the USCIS lockbox facilities to request email or text notification that your application has been received by USCIS. To obtain this service, complete form G-1145: “E-Notification/Petition Acceptance” and clip it to the first page of your application. This form may be obtained online. 

After you mail your OPT application to USCIS:

1. You will receive a Receipt Notice in two to three weeks stating that they have received the application and are processing it.

To check on the progress of your EAD card go online.

Remember: While on OPT, you must report your employment status. Use the web form found on the main page of our website.

Are you traveling while on OPT? Certain documentation is required to re-enter the United States depending upon the status of your OPT application. Before you leave the United States, read the information on the ISSS website or e-mail an ISSS advisor about your OPT and travel questions. 


Often applicants will have their photos rejected for failing to meet the required specifications. To avoid this, show these instructions to the photographer before the photos are taken. Then, carefully review your photos before mailing them to the USCIS Lockbox Facility with your application.

Special instructions regarding photos for your EAD card:


The photo requirements for OPT applications mirror the requirements for passport photos. Guidance can be found online.  

  • In color
  • Printed on photo quality paper
  • 2 x 2 inches (51 x 51 mm) in size
  • Sized such that the head is between 1 inch and 1 3/8 inches (between 25 and 35 mm) from the bottom of the chin to the top of the head. View the Photo Composition Template for more size requirement details.
  • Taken within the last six months to reflect your current appearance
  • Taken in front of a plain white or off-white background
  • Taken in full-face view directly facing the camera
  • With a neutral facial expression and both eyes open
  • Taken in clothing that you normally wear on a daily basis:
    • Uniforms should not be worn in your photo, except religious clothing that is worn daily.
    • Do not wear a hat or head covering that obscures the hair or hairline, unless worn daily for a religious purpose. Your full face must be visible, and the head covering must not cast any shadows on your face.
    • Headphones, wireless hands-free devices or similar items are not acceptable in your photo.
    • If you normally wear prescription glasses, a hearing device or similar articles, they may be worn for your photo.
    • Dark glasses or non-prescription glasses with tinted lenses are not acceptable unless you need them for medical reasons (a medical certificate may be required)
    • Glare on glasses is not acceptable in your photo. Glare can be avoided with a slight downward tilt of the glasses or by removing the glasses or by turning off the camera flash.

Print your name and I-94 number on the back of the photos in pencil. Do not press on the picture.

Place the picture in an envelope or small plastic sandwich-size bag and attach the envelope or bag to the OPT application packet. Be sure not to staple or otherwise put any holes in the pictures.

The photos can be taken locally at one of the businesses and organizations listed below.

Prices subject to change.

NamE Address Phone no. Cost of photos
CVS Pharmacy · 50 Pennsylvania Ave, Binghamton · 68 Main St, Binghamton · 345 Main St, Johnson City * Available at all local stores EXCEPT Court Street. to find the store nearest you 772-0656 773-8338 729-6549 $10.00 for 2 photos
Walmart Portrait Studio 2405 Vestal Parkway East 729-2484 $10.00 for 2 photos
AAA Travel Agency Campus Plaza (Olums), Vestal 722-7255 $5 for 2 photos for AAA members. $7 for 2 photos for non-AAA members

Last Updated: 8/25/16