This announcement of Feb 26, 2021 came as a result of delays at certain lockboxes in issuing receipt notices for Form I-765 for optional practical training (OPT) for F-1 students mostly caused by Covid-19 restrictions.
USCIS will provide two remedies:
14-month OPT Period Flexibilities
The delays in the lockbox caused some applicants to have a shortened period of OPT, as OPT must be completed within the 14 months period from the end of their program. To address this issue, USCIS will allow the 14-month period to commence from the date of approval of the Form I-765 for applications for post-completion OPT.
Refiling Following Rejection
Applicants who timely filed Form I-765 for OPT and whose applications were rejected as untimely due to the lockbox delay will be able to refile Form I-765 for OPT and STEM OPT as filed on the original filing date if:
- The original, timely filed application was received on or after Oct. 1, 2020, through May 1, 2021, inclusive; and
- USCIS subsequently rejected it.
Applicants refiling an application should include a copy of the rejection notice to facilitate review of the case.
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