F-1 EADs May Take One to Two Weeks to Produce after Adjudication

August 15, 2023

F-1 EADs May Take One to Two Weeks to Produce After Adjudication

Premium processing timelines are separate from EAD production timelines

Dear Stakeholder,

We are writing to provide additional information on when an F-1 student who filed Form I-907, Request for Premium Processing Service, for Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, should expect to receive their employment authorization document (EAD).

Here are some reminders for when you submit your application and while U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) processes your case:

  • File your Form I-907 online, or make sure to mail it to the correct USCIS lockbox. Go to USCIS’ Direct Filing Addresses for Filing Form I-907 for Form I-765 or Form I-539 page to find the correct filing address. If you mail your premium processing request to the wrong USCIS lockbox, it will reject your form and the rejection may take some time to process.

  • The 30-calendar-day premium processing timeframe does not include the time it takes to produce your EAD. According to the regulation, it means that USCIS must generally take one of the following actions on your Form I-765 within 30 days of receiving your properly completed form: (1) approve, (2) deny, (3) send you a notice of intent to deny, or (4) send you a request for evidence.

  • After USCIS approves your Form I-765, your EAD should be produced within one to two weeks. USCIS will mail your EAD via U.S. Postal Service (USPS) Informed Delivery. The wait for receiving your EAD may vary, depending on USPS delivery times.

What to Do While Waiting for Your EAD

Please wait 30 days from the date your form was approved before contacting USCIS. If you do not receive your EAD after 30 days, you can submit an online case inquiry to ask about your missing EAD.

We encourage you to use USCIS’ Case Status Online page to find the USPS tracking number for your EAD delivery. If the page shows the EAD was delivered but you never received it, or if USPS returns your EAD to USCIS as undeliverable, please see the “Employment Authorization Documents (EADs)” section of our Frequently Asked Questions page for more information.

Why This Matters

Earlier this year, USCIS rolled out premium processing for F-1 students seeking optional practical training (OPT) or science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) OPT extensions. As students began to file premium processing requests, stakeholders informed us they were experiencing delays in receiving their EADs.

We raised this issue with USCIS, and the agency has identified and resolved the issue that had caused these card production delays.

More Information

For more information on premium processing, please visit USCIS’ How Do I Request Premium Processing? page. You can also go to its Optional Practical Training (OPT) for F-1 Students page for details specific to OPT and STEM OPT. To create an account to file online, see USCIS’ How to Create a USCIS Online Account page.

The CIS Ombudsman is dedicated to helping individuals and employers resolve problems with USCIS. We also make recommendations to USCIS on how to mitigate problems and enhance processes, most recently in our 2023 Annual Report to Congress. For information on our office, please visit dhs.gov/cisombudsman or follow us on FacebookLinkedIn, and Twitter.

Please complete the CIS Ombudsman Customer Satisfaction Survey. We appreciate your feedback.


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