F-1 OPT Application Forms

Below please find the documents and forms needed to apply for F-1 Optional Practical Training (OPT). These resources are intended for use by Harvard F-1 students only.

Documents to Submit to the HIO

HIO OPT Request Form

This online form allows students to apply for the HIO OPT Recommendation prior to submitting the OPT application to USCIS.

OPT Date Verification Form

For F-1 students applying for OPT to complete and upload to the HIO OPT Request Form as a required document for HIO.

Post-Completion OPT Credit Card Payment (Touchnet)

For students applying for Post-Completion OPT to pay the $150 payment to Harvard University online via credit card.

Instructions for OPT Submission to USCIS

Note regarding online filing of I-765: The United States Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) has recently notified stakeholders that Forms I-765 can now be filed online via USCIS’s website for students applying for pre-completion OPT, post-completion OPT, and STEM OPT extensions. At this time, the HIO strongly discourages the use of this online I-765 filing system while we gather further information on its efficacy and functionality. The HIO encourages all students applying for pre, post and STEM OPT to follow the HIO’s guides and instructions for how to submit their paper applications to USCIS by courier mail.

As a reminder, students applying for pre, post and STEM OPT must be physically present in the U.S. to file their OPT applications with USCIS.

USCIS OPT Application Checklist

A checklist of all documents needed to submit to USCIS to apply for F-1 Optional Practical Training (OPT).

OPT I-765 Instructions

Line by line instructions to complete the Form I-765.

OPT Missing I-20 Letter Template

For students who are missing previous I-20s to included in their OPT applications.

OPT Passport Photo Requirements & Recommendations

Recommendations for the passport photos required in your OPT application to USCIS.

Paying the I-765 Fee

A guide to the I-765 payment. 

OPT Mailing Instructions to USCIS

Instructions on mailing your complete application to USCIS.

After Mailing your OPT Application to USCIS

Instructions on maintaining your F-1 status while on OPT.

The HIO provides general guidance on your OPT/STEM OPT application based on information obtained from reliable sources and reflecting our years of experience in working with students. We make every attempt to ensure that we provide you with the most up to date information available. Any advice provided to you by our office (as well as the information in this packet) does not constitute legal advice, however. The OPT application is a personal application for which you are responsible; the application preparation and USCIS case decision will vary depending on the facts at issue in your particular case. The HIO does its best to provide you with the most current guidance, but please be mindful that USCIS may change its interpretation of these policies, procedures, regulations, and eligibility requirements at any time. The HIO is not responsible for any errors or omissions, or for the results obtained from USCIS.