Below are detailed instructions on how to fill out the I-765 if you are applying for Optional Practical Training (OPT). The only items highlighted on this form are those that students commonly have questions on or are confused about. Please review each item carefully to ensure your I-765 is filled out correctly. Each item discussed is highlighted in the image as to where it appears on the actual I-765 Form. Download the form using Chrome or Firefox and complete it in Adobe Acrobat on your digital device, print out, and sign in black ink only.
The information contained on this page is for general information purposes only. Due to frequent government updates, NYU OGS may make additions, deletions, or modifications to the contents on this page at any time without prior notice.
Please note, these directions are meant to help you in completing your application but should not be considered legal advice. The US Citizenship and Immigration Services ultimately provides the decision on your OPT application.
Check the box “Initial permission to accept employment.” If you lost your EAD and are applying for a new card, select "replacement of lost, stolen, or damaged employment authorization document NOT DUE to US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) error." If you are applying for STEM OPT, select "initial permission to accept employment."
Enter your family name first. Enter your first name second. Include your middle name if you have one. This name should match what is indicated on your passport.
Provide all other names you have ever used, including aliases, maiden name, and nicknames. Write “N/A” on all boxes if you haven’t used another name.
Enter your mailing address. This must be a US address and it should be valid until your OPT application is approved. If you believe you will change addresses within the next three months we recommend you instead list the address of a trusted friend or family member. If you choose to enter your friend’s or family member’s address, you must also include an “in care of” name for item 5.a. You may list a US Post Office address (PO Box) if you have one.
Select “Yes” if you have previously applied for OPT or ever submitted the I-765 for work authorization to the US Citizenship and Immigration Services. Select “No” if you have only ever worked on campus or been authorized for CPT, or if you have not previously worked.
If you select "Yes," you will also need to list each time you previously filed the Form I-765 in Part 6, page 7 of this Form I-765.
If you have ever received a Social Security card previously you must check "Yes", if not, check "No".
Only answer this question if you have a Social Security Number and checked “Yes” for item 13a.
Only answer these questions if you do not have a Social Security card and checked "Yes" for items 14-15. By answering these questions you would be applying for a Social Security card with your Social Security number printed on it. Your SSN will be issued, and you will receive an SSN card within 2-4 weeks of your OPT application approval. You will not need to submit a separate application for an SSN to the Social Security Administration.
Type or print the name of the country or countries where you are currently a citizen or national. If you are a citizen or national of more than one country, type or print the name of the foreign country that issued your last passport. If you are a citizen of one country, item 18.b. should indicate "N/A".
Enter the last date you entered the U.S. For most of you this should be the date stamped in your passport.
Indicate city and state of your last arrival or entry into the US. This should be indicated by the three digit code stamped on your passport. For example, if you entered JFK, the stamp in your passport should indicate “NYC”. If you entered through Newark, the stamp on your passport should indicate “NEW”.
Your status of last entry should be "F-1 Student."
Your current status should be F-1 Student.
Enter your SEVIS ID number as indicated on the top of your I-20.
Write "N/A" in the blank fields if you are not applying for STEM OPT. If you are applying for the 24 month STEM OPT Extension write the following:
Write "N/A" in blank fields.
Leave checkbox blank as it does not apply to OPT applications.
Select the box appropriate to your situation. If you select 1a, write “N/A” in the text boxes for items 1b and 2.
Be sure to sign the form in black ink inside the box. Make sure only your signature is in the box and fits entirely within it, as the government will scan your signature for your approval document.
NOTE: The signature must be done by hand, and not electronically/digitally.
Leave all text boxes blank if you have completed the I-765 yourself. If someone else has completed your I-765 for you, you should indicate their contact information. Regardless of answers, these pages must be included in your application.
Complete this section only if:
If you have previously been approved for CPT and/or OPT:
Write Page 3, Part 2, Item 27.
List out any of the previous CPT or OPT authorizations you have had. Use separate fields for each type of authorization (for example, list all previous CPT or previous OPT in separate boxes).
If you had a previous SEVIS ID number:
Write Page 3, Part 2, Item 26.
List out any of the previous SEVIS ID numbers you have had. Use separate fields for each type of authorization (for example, list any previous SEVIS ID number in 5d).