USCIS does not accept e-signatures for OPT and STEM OPT application.
Infact, USCIS have denied applications due to e-Signature.
What if you sent OPT or STEM application with e-Signature. What can you do now to avoid USCIS from denying your application?
Just think about this for a second – You apply for OPT with E-Signature. Because you just overlooked that you have sign using Blue or Black Pen or perhaps, it was easy to sign online with Adobe Acrobat.
100 days later, your online status shows – Denied.
14 Days later, mail from USCIS explains that reason for OPT application denial was E-Signature.
What if you were outside the 60 days OPT application window after graduation?
You lost OPT, STEM OPT and three years of work authorization.
Yes. this routines happens and don’t blame your DSO.
OPT applicants are required to follow the instructions as per I-765 form.
What if you sent OPT or STEM application with e-Signature. What can you do now to prevent USCIS from denying your application?
Here’s a solution from someone who went through this process and get OPT Card approved.
STEM OPT – e-signature
I have sent my STEM OPT package to USCIS with an e-signature on I-765.
Documents were delivered on Oct 23 and I’m yet to receive receipt notice I-797c.
Based on the experiences I have read so far on this group (F1 Visa Facebook Group), I’m expecting either one of the below scenarios.
- Straight away denial with the package being sent back without any I-797c.
- Get receipt notice (I-797c) and later get rejection
- Get RFE and be able to send new I-765
- Nothing gets noticed and I get New OPT Card
I have seen people sending a letter explaining the situation and sending a new I-765 with a wet signature. I will try to do the same.
- Upon checking with a few others who were in a similar situation, I have sent a letter (correspondence) to USCIS explaining the mistake and included the below
- Page 5 of I-765 with the handwritten signature
- Correspondance letter
- Copy of Receipt notice I-765
Here’s the Timeline of STEM OPT Approval
- October 22, 2020: We received your Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization.
- December 9, 2020: We received your correspondence for Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization.
- January 6, 2021: We ordered your new card.
- January 7, 2021: We approved your Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization.
- January 8, 2021: Card Was Mailed To Me
Question: Sign I-765 using Blue or Black Ink?
I need some suggestions on STEM extension application, I have signed my I765 form with blue instead of black. I’m worried about whether the OPT application will be denied. What will be the case if I resend the application again? I have sent my application on Oct 29 still I didn’t receive any update on this either receipt no or money being cashed out.
In general Attorney will recommend to sign legal documents with Blue Pen (Ink). For Indians, we use the term Ink Pen and Ball Pen. It’s ok to use both, as along as it’s blue in color.
Why Sign Legal Document with Blue Ink? If you make a photocopy of a document signed with Black Ink, you will not know if it’s original or photocopy.
Here are some real examples of folks with OPT Denial to E-Signature
My friend was on OPT (initial) and it got expired on June 24, 2020, and he has applied for STEM OPT extension and received the acknowledgment receipt (Case received) on April 28, 2020.
He was working for company A already while waiting for the STEM OPT extension and today he received the STEM denial email and the denial notice will take 7-10 days to know the reason for denial.
The only option that everyone is suggesting to him is to join a university and get the new I20 so that SEVIS can be transferred to the new University.
Since the semesters have already started and fall admissions are closed, not sure which university to reach out to and what should be done. Also, would like to know when the grace period kicks in? Is it from the date of STEM OPT Denied date or is it from the initial OPT expiration date?
The denial notice says it was due to e-signature, what options do we have? can we apply for a motion to reopen now?
From what we have read, MTR doesn’t work and STEM OPT is gone. But, do consult with an attorney for your Options.