Student Checklist for 17-Month Extension of Optional Practical Training

Please check off as you complete the following steps:


Complete the online STEM Application Request e-form


After you receive your 17-month Extension of OPT I-20 from the ISSS, mail these items to the USCIS Lockbox Facility that has jurisdiction over your current state of residence. A list is included with this checklist, or it may be viewed at the ISSS web site. Select "employment" from the list on the left side of the homepage, and then "17-Month Extension of Optional Practical Training."

  • Complete Form G-1145, E-Notification of Application/Petition Acceptance and attach it to Form-I 765
  • Complete form I-765. Type the form online then print it out and sign your name with a blue ink pen
  • For Question 3: Address for delivery of the EAD card: You should use your current residential address in the United States. Note: This address determines which of the two USCIS Lockbox Facilities should receive your application. It is okay to apply to a USCIS Lockbox Facility different from the one where your original OPT application was filed. (See attached USCIS Lockbox information).
  • Answering Question 16: The answer for question 16 for 17-month Extension of OPT applicants (after initial 12-month OPT) is: (c)(3)(C).
  • Answering Question 17: You must complete this section. List your major as it appears on your I-20 and obtain your employer's name and identification number as listed in the U.S. government's "E-Verify" Program. This information is usually available from your employer's human resources office.
  • $380 check or money order made payable to U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
  • Photocopy of your most recent I-94 card (both sides) and visa inside your passport

You can download a copy of your I-94 online.  

  • Photocopy of the identity pages in your passport, which include your picture.
  • Copy of your current EAD card (both sides) and any previous EAD cards (if applicable)
  • Copy of your most recent degree that shows field of study. This can be a copy of your diploma, official transcript or an unofficial transcript. The field of study shown must be on the approved list of STEM fields of study. The ISSS will have already verified that your field of study is on the approved list prior to issuing you a new I-20, recommending the 17-month extension of OPT.
  • Two passport-style photos with a white background (important instructions on photo requirements on the back of this page)
  • Include a photocopy (not original) of your SEVIS I-20 with the recommendation for the 17-month extension of OPT, pages 1 and 3, after it is endorsed by the Office of International Student and Scholar Services.

Important Information On USCIS Photo Requirements

Often applicants will have their photos rejected for failing to meet the required specifications. In order to avoid this, be sure to 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:

sample photos

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

The photo should not be larger than 2 by 2 inches, with the distance from the top of the head to just below the chin measuring about 1-3/8 inches.

  1. Frame subject with full face, front view, eyes open.
  2. Make sure the photo presents full head from top of hair to bottom of chin; height of head should measure 1 inch to 1-3/8 inches. (25mm to 35mm)
  3. Center head within the frame of the picture
  4. Make sure eye height is from between 1-1/8 inches to 1-3/8 inches (28mm and 3mm) from the bottom of the photo
  5. Photograph subject against a plain white or off-white background
  6. Position subject and lighting so that there are no distracting shadows on the face or background
  7. Compose your face in a natural photo.
  8. There must be no spots on the photo.
  9. There must be no shadows on the photo.
  10. Eyeglasses worn on a daily basis can be worn for the photo. However, there should be no reflections from the eyeglasses that obscures the eyes.
  11. Sunglasses or tinted glasses cannot be worn in the photos.
  12. Print your name and I-94 number on the back of the photos in pencil. Do not press on the picture.
  13. 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.




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




$10 for 2 photos

Walmart Portrait Studio

2405 Vestal Parkway East


$10 for 2 photos

AAA Travel Agency

Campus Plaza (Olums), Vestal


$5 for 2 photos for AAA members. $7 for 2 photos for non-AAA members

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 US 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 US 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

Last Updated: 8/25/16