While your OPT Application is Pending

Once you have your new I-20 with the OPT recommendation, you will prepare and mail you application as detailed in our OPT mailing instructions. ISSO recommends making a copy of your entire OPT application, including photos and check, prior to mailing, and sending your OPT application using a trackable shipping method. Keep the copy of your application and the tracking number for your package for your records.

Approximately 2 – 3 weeks after your application is received, you will receive and I-797 Notice of Action in the mail with your receipt number and the date your application was received. Most OPT applications are approved within approximately 3 months of the date the application was received, and your Employment Authorization Document (EAD card) will be mailed to the mailing address on your I-765 via USPS with a tracking number. If you will not be living at this address for at least 3 – 5 months after you mail your OPT application, make sure that someone at this address will be available to receive mail on your behalf.

The information below explains common issues that students face after mailing their OPT applications and how to address those issues.