Under a court order, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) extended flexibilities for certain foreign students affected by delayed receipt notices for Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization. USCIS said the extension includes applications received on or after October 1, 2020, through October 31, 2021. Applicants can file Form I-765 up to 120 days before the program end date if the application is received by October 31, 2021.

For applicants who timely filed Form I-765 for Optional Practical Training (OPT) and Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) OPT and whose applications were later rejected, USCIS will accept a refiled Form I-765 as filed on the original filing date if:

· The original, timely filed application was received on or after October 1, 2020, through October 31, 2021; and

· USCIS subsequently rejected it.

For USCIS to treat the application as though filed on the original received date, refiled applications must be received by November 30, 2021.

Details:

· USCIS notice, July 29, 2021, https://bit.ly/3yjS4P3

· Li v. USCIS, consent order, July 23, 2021, https://www.uscis.gov/sites/default/files/document/legal-docs/ECF%20No.%2013%20Signed%20Consent%20Order.pdf

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