Issues & Problems during OPT/STEM OPT Application Process

There are several types of problems that may occur during your OPT or OPT application.

  • Delayed processing
  • Needing to change information on your OPT application
  • Not receiving your I-797c Receipt Notice
  • Not receiving your EAD/EAD lost in the mail
  • Request for Evidence or Denial of OPT
  • Lost EAD or Incorrect EAD
See below for further information and instructions on how to deal with these issues.

OPT/STEM Application Pending More Than 90 Days

USCIS has a goal timeline of 90 days to process an OPT/STEM Application. However, this is not a guaranteed timeline. An OPT/STEM application can take up to 3-5 months to get adjudicated. Please visit the USCIS Processing Times website for the most up-to-date processing times.

If you have an OPT/STEM application that has been pending over 90 days, contact USCIS to get a status update. If you are not successful in obtaining a status update regarding your application, please contact the Ivanhoe International Center. Please note that there is no way to expedite an application.

Change Information After OPT/STEM Application has been Mailed to USCIS

At times, a student may want to change certain information such as dates, address, etc. on their OPT/STEM application after they have mailed it in to USCIS. Please note that after you have mailed your application to USCIS no changes can be made except for address updates.

Request for Evidence or Denial

If you've received a Request for Evidence or Denial, please contact the Ivanhoe International Center as soon as possible to help with the situation. These notices are time sensitive.

Replacement I-797 Notice of Action

Students who have filed for OPT/STEM OPT with USCIS but have never received or lost their I-797 Notice of Action should request for a replacement copy.

What is an I-797 Notice of Action
The I-797 is a receipt notice that USCIS mails out within 2-4 weeks after an applicant has mailed the OPT application to USCIS.

Request for Evidence or Denial

The Employment Authorization Document (EAD)is evidence that an individual can work in the United States for a specific period. It is also physical evidence that a student's OPT has been adjudicated and approved by USCIS.

Replacement EAD Lost in Mail at fault of USPS

If the case status on USCIS is showing that your EAD card was mailed but you never received it, there is a possibility that it was undeliverable or lost by USPS.

If USPS determines that they are not responsible for the loss of the EAD, you will have to file for a replacement Lost EAD Card and pay the USCIS I-765 filing fee.

Replacement, Lost, or Stolen EAD Card

Students who need a replacement of the EAD Card (due to lost, stolen, destroyed, or error by applicant) will need to file original paperwork and pay the USCIS I-765 fee again to the appropriate USCIS Lockbox.

Contact Us:

Ivanhoe International Center
SD School of Mines & Technology
501 E Saint Joseph Street
Rapid City, SD  57701-3995
Phone: 1.605.394.6884
FAX: 1.605.394.6883

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