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Premium Processing for F-1 Students Seeking OPT/STEM OPT Extensions

Premium Processing Expansion for Certain F-1 Students Seeking OPT or STEM OPT Extensions

On March 6, 2023, USCIS announced the expansion of premium processing for certain F-1 students seeking Optional Practical Training (OPT) or extensions of STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) OPT who have a pending Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization.

According to the announcement, USCIS will accept premium processing requests for Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization filed by F-1 students seeking OPT and extensions of STEM OPT in the following schedule:

  • For certain F-1 students who have a pending Form I-765 and file Form I-907 under one of the following categories: Beginning March 6, 2023
    • (c)(3)(A) – Pre-Completion OPT;
    • (c)(3)(B) – Post-Completion OPT; and
    • (c)(3)(C) – 24-month Extension of OPT for STEM students.
  • For F-1 students who file a Form I-765 application and Form I-907 request together, if they are filing Form I-907 under one of the above categories: Beginning April 3, 2023

USCIS will reject premium processing requests if received before the scheduled dates above.

How do I file a request for Premium Processing?

F-1 students seeking OPT or an extension of STEM OPT may request premium processing by filing Form I-907, Request for Premium Processing Service by mail or online.

How long will it take for USCIS to adjudicate the case under the premium processing?

For the premium processing requests for Form I-765 filed by certain F-1 students seeking OPT or an extension of STEM OPT, USCIS guarantees that it will take adjudicative action on the case within 30 calendar days, or it will refund the premium processing fee.

How much is the filing fee for the Premium Processing request?

Filing fee for the Form I-907 for Form I-765 filed by certain F-1 students seeking OPT or an extension of STEM OPT is currently $1,500. This fee will be increased to $1,685 for a premium processing request postmarked on or after February 26, 2024 for certain F-1 students. Applicants who request premium processing may pay the fee with a money order, personal check, cashier’s check, or pay by credit card using Form G-1450, Authorization for Credit Card Transactions. Applicants must pay the Form I-907 fee separately from other filing fees.

How to file Form I-907 online

Applicants who file Form I-907 online must first create a USCIS online account, which can be done with no cost. Through the online account, applicants may submit forms, pay fees, and track the status of any pending USCIS immigration request throughout the adjudication process. For more details, please visit USCIS’ website here.

F-1 students who previously filed Form I-765 by mail must link their paper-filed cases to their online account to file Form I-907 online. To do so, they need to reference the USCIS Account Access Notice they received for the Online Access Code and instructions on how to link their paper-filed cases to their online account. Otherwise, those F-1 students who previously filed Form I-765 by mail will not be able to file Form I-907 online and will need to file Form I-907 by mail with the Chicago lockbox.

For USCIS’ original announcement, please visit here.

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