International Student and Scholar Services

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International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) advises and supports the university’s international community with their visas, social and cultural adjustment to the United States as well as acts as a liaison with relevant government agencies. We collaborate with campus partners and advocate on behalf of our populations to promote global educational exchange and diversity in support of the university’s mission.

OPT Processing Delays with USCIS

USCIS currently reflects OPT processing time to take between two and a half to five months from date of submission to approval and EAD receipt. Currently, NIU ISSS is receiving reports of cases where students have received approvals in 110-120 days. Through professional associations, we have learned of many cases that are taking the full five months to adjudicate. NIU ISSS completely understands how difficult this situation is to navigate and complicated it can make your life as you navigate this uncertainty.

Please know that if we could do more to expedite your application, we would do so—however, USCIS deems your OPT application to be a personal petition between you as an individual and them as a federal agency, and they will not entertain inquiries from us or the university. There is no expedited processing for OPT petitions.

Please keep in mind that these delays are affecting F-1 students across the country. It is important that you remain in contact and communication with your employer about your pending OPT application. Employers are becoming more familiar with these delays as well. Updated on 8/12/2019

Contact Us

International Student Scholar Services (ISSS)
Williston Hall

Phone: 815-753-1346
Fax: 815-753-1488

Hours: 8 a.m.-noon (pick up and drop off only)
All advising and other questions are by appointment only.

Request An Appointment