USCIS Receipt Notice Delays

USCIS Receipt Notice Delays

(Updated March 1st, 2021)

US On February 26, 2021, USCIS announced flexibilities for certain foreign students affected by the delays in receipting OPT/STEM applications. 

Note: these flexbilities apply only to applications received on or after Oct. 1, 2020, through May 1, 2021, inclusive.

  1. If your application was rejected, USCIS will accept a refiled 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.

Refiled applications must be received by May 31, 2021, for USCIS to treat the application as though filed on the original received date. Do NOT refile if your application was not rejected.

 2. Applications with missing or deficient signatures will continue to be rejected at the lockbox.  However, if an application with a with missing or deficient signatures is receipted, the application will not be denied but instead receive an RFE to give applicants am opportunity to correct the deficiency.

For more information, please visit the USCIS Alerts Page.

If you have not heard from USCIS:

US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is experiencing significant delays with receipting OPT/STEM OPT applications nationwide. The processing delays are affecting all OPT and OPT STEM applications. Delays of up to 8-9 weeks are now common.  If you have filed your application on time, you may legally stay in the U.S. until your application has been adjudicated.

We recommend all applicants who have not received a receipt notice within 60 days of filing to follow the steps below:

  1. Retain all evidence that you filed your application in a timely manner as well as proof of delivery.  You should also keep a copy of any communications you have sent to USCIS.
  2. Check with your bank/financial institution to see if funding has been processed by USCIS.
  3. Contact USCIS. Check to see your application status and if they can provide you a receipt number.  There are times when the application has been receipted but the notice has not yet been sent out.
  4. E-mail the USCIS “lockbox” at [email protected]
  5. If USCIS does not respond to your inquiry within 30 days, you may submit a request for case assistance to the CIS Ombudsman.

*The ISO does not recommend refiling a new application if there are no errors with your original application.  Doing so may cause further delays and result in students being possibly charged twice for the filing fee. *

If it has been more than 6-weeks since your application arrived at USCIS and your case still has not been receipted, you can e-mail the USCIS “lockbox” (they process the incoming applications) at [email protected].

Please reach out to the ISO at [email protected] for any additional inquiries/concerns you may have.