On Sept. 29, 2020 a U.S. federal district court has issued a nationwide preliminary injunction that prohibits the Department of Homeland Security from enforcing a final rule that was set to increase USCIS filing fees as of Oct. 2, 2020. This means the fee increase for Form I-765 used to apply for Optional Practical Training and STEM Extension will not go into effect on Oct. 2, 2020, as previously announced.
USCIS has suspended in-person services due to the Coronavirus. As of now, the service centers who process OPT applications are still operating. USCIS closures are being posted to their website.
Employment authorizations through USCIS are experiencing delays. Students may submit a request for a case outside normal processing time with USCIS.
H-1B Lottery Results
If you are seeking the status of your H-1B petition, have your petition’s receipt number available and please contact USCIS at 1-800-375-5283, or log onto the USCIS Web page and click “Check Your Case Status” for the latest information on your petition. USCIS manages the H-1B program and is best equipped to answer your questions, not the ISSC.
If you have access to the SEVP Portal and are able to see information on end dates, and if your end date for your OPT was extended to 09/30/2020, it is likely you have made the H-1B lottery.
If this is the case, you can ask your attorney who filed the H-1B petition for you whether they have received any information about its status. You will need the receipt number from your attorney in order to check the status with USCIS. If they have not received it yet, please wait until they do so you can check its status.
The ISSC website has instructions regarding how to request a cap-gap I-20 in the event your OPT is ending soon. This will allow you to extend your work authorization until your attorney informs you of making the lottery, H-1B approval or denial.
Also, we highly suggest that students eligible for a STEM extension submit the application before your Post-OPT ends, if you have not done so already, as a back-up plan if you do not make the lottery or if your H-1B case gets denied.