Checking the Progress of Your OPT Application
Within 2 - 3 weeks USCIS will send you a receipt notice (Form I-797). This is proof that USCIS has received your application. Make sure to check the spelling of your name. If you notice an error, contact OISS. The receipt will have your case number printed on it in the following format EAC##########. With the receipt number, you can track the progress of your application at the USCIS Web site.
Request for Additional Documentation
Occasionally a student will receive a Request for Further Evidence from immigration at the time their application is reviewed. These requests are typically due to documentation that may have been omitted such as a copy of both front and back of I-94 or new photographs. If you receive such a request (normally a blue sheet of paper) simply reply immediately to USCIS directly with the requested documents, including the original blue sheet placed on top. If you do not understand the USCIS request, contact OISS. Make copies of your materials before you mail them, and send the reply by return receipt mail.
EAD Card Delays
If you do not receive your EAD card within 75 days from the date immigration received your application, contact OISS and we can make a request that your card be processed soon. If you do not receive your EAD card within 90 days from the date immigration received your application, you may make an appointment online through Info Pass at the local USCIS office in Hartford. When you visit Hartford, bring your notice of receipt as well as your passport, I-20 and I-94 card. They will not issue you a card during your visit, but will contact the Service Center to which you applied and ask for expedition of your case. You should be able to expect to receive your card within a week of your visit to the local office.
OPT Application Approval
First you will receive a paper notification (From I 797A) from USCIS. Within a week or so you will receive a small photo identification card, called an Employment Authorization Document (EAD).
(Sample EAD card)
This card will state the type and length of the period of employment authorized. When you receive this card, you must check it to make certain all the information is correct. If there are errors, please consult with OISS immediately to determine whether the card needs to be returned for corrections. Keep your EAD card in a secured location. If you lose it, you will need to reapply and pay a new fee to get a replacement card.