Can I Give Friend’s Address on OPT or STEM OPT Application?

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Question 1: I will be staying at my friend’s home temporarily for the next couple of months. Is it okay to give his name under “In care of” (Section 5a) in I-765?

Question 2: I gave my friend’s address as at the time of OPT application I was not sure where I would be. It has my name but my friend’s address. We live in a dorm where it directly comes to mailing box. It doesn’t have a name, just apartment number. Will it be ok? I’m scared to change address as it too late and I need the card!


Yes, you can give. I did “C/O friend’s name, address” in the US mailing address section.  I spoke to my college DSO and also USCIS regarding this. They both said yes. I got my stem EAD mailed to my friend’s address.

I had a similar situation when I was applying for initial OPT in January 2018, before the new format of form I-765. I used “C/O my friend’s name” and didn’t get my I-797C for a month. I called and emailed the USCIS, reiterated my friend’s address and they sent me a new I-797C. Then, a week later, I got the original I-797C sent by the USCIS. It turned out that the original post was stolen by a mail thief the post office ultimately caught! I recommend putting INSIDE your friend’s mailbox a post-it note with your name clearly written on it. Also, sign up for the informed delivery digest. I had done both these things.

Using DSO’s Address As Mailing Adress for OPT

opt application dso address



usps sem opt card could not deliver returned


So, there you have it:

  • Ensure your name is listed on the mailbox as a recipient.
  • Add Att or C/O in the mailing address
  • Sign-up for Informed Delivery with USPS
  • Try using DSO’s address, if they allow that

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