How long does it take for USCIS to approve STEM OPT Application and Issue the OPT Card?

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Update 1: For now, USCIS takes about 110-120 days from the day of receipt to getting the EAD card in hand. I hit 90 days today and there’s been no movement on my case so far.

Update 2: Most STEM OPT and OPT applicants are getting the EAD card in hand in 110-120 days. And there could be exceptions (like Update 4 below).

Update 3: 

  • Case: F-1 OPT STEM Extension
  • Case number: YSC1890238xxx
  • May 22: Case received.
  • Aug 27: EAD card ordered.
  • Sep 5: New EAD card was mailed to me.
  • I haven’t received my STEM OPT EAD card yet. Contacted USCIS and was told there’s was no USPS tracking number showing up for my case and they suspected the card was not delivered yet.

Update 4:

opt card stem processing time

Average Current Processing Time from USCIS – Check the Processing Time Here

step opt and opt usics processing time 110 days

Update 5: From a DSO

It used to be written in the USCIS adjudicator’s manual that there was a 90-day processing timeline with Post Completion OPT, but that was quietly removed in January 2017. With that said, I have also reached out to my SEVP Representative to inquire as to the processing time, and what role a DSO plays in advocating for an international student on an F-1 visa, once 90 days of processing time has passed. I have been noticing an increase in ‘standardized’ answers with USCIS.  There are ‘normal processing times’ and there is ‘NOT normal processing times’. If you aren’t sure, keep posting in the F1 Visa, STEM OPT Group on Facebook, there are DSOs and attorneys to see what’s going on. We have advocates with USCIS we can report unusual processing delays to. 

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