Coursework Completion OPT

Students who have completed coursework but are working on dissertation or thesis have a choice of applying for Pre-Completion OPT or Post-Completion OPT.

Pre-Completion OPT

Post-Completion OPT

Part-time or full-time employment

Full-time employment

No unemployment limit

Limit of 90 days unemployment for full period of OPT

Not eligible for STEM extension

Eligible for STEM extension if meets degree and E-verify requirements

Not eligible for H-1B cap-gap relief

Eligible for H-1B cap-gap relief

I-20 may be extended if meets standard extension requirements.

I-20 cannot be extended, must complete program requirements by end of OPT.

Continued enrollment in thesis/dissertation courses required.

Continued enrollment in thesis/dissertation courses required.

Total of one year of OPT per educational level

Total of one year of OPT per educational level


  • Full-time enrolled at least one full academic year (two long semesters).
  • Currently in valid F-1 status.
  • Have completed all classroom course-work, only thesis or dissertation remaining

Application Process

  1. Carefully review the information on this website and/ or attend an OPT Workshop.
  2. Pay the $100 Practical Training Fee*.
  3. Submit to the International Student Services Office (ISSO):
  4. Within three business days you will be sent an email that the OPT I-20 is ready for pickup. You will give mailing instructions when you pick up the I-20.
  5. Compile the application, make a copy for your personal file and mail the application to USCIS.
  6. USCIS processing time is 2-3 months.

*Due to the additional Practical Training requirements instituted by Homeland Security on April 8, 2008, UT Dallas students are required to pay a $100 Practical Training fee. This fee is separate from the USCIS application fee.

Application Package

  • G-1145, E-Notification of Application/Petition Acceptance (Optional) Form provided by ISSO
  • Two passport photos (No Glasses Allowed)
  • Check for $380, made payable to Department of Homeland Security.
    • Effective Dec. 23, 2016 the fee will increase to $410. Applications and petitions postmarked or filed on or after Dec. 23, 2016, must include these new fees or USCIS will reject your submission.
    • Print I-94 number at top of check.
    • Staple your check in the middle, left hand side of Form I-765.
  • Original I-765 form
  • Copy of OPT I-20, pages 1 and 2
  • Copy of passport ID page showing picture and expiration date
  • Copy of I-94, front and back
  • Copy of F-1 visa
  • CPT page, if applicable (provided by ISSO)

Mailing the Application

According to the USCIS website, the application mailing address is determined by the address listed on the I-765.

Mail to the Dallas Lockbox if your I-765 address is to one of these states: Alabama, Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Mississippi, New Hampshire, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, U.S Virgin Islands or West Virginia.

Mail to the Phoenix Lockbox if your I-765 address is to any other U.S. state.

Dallas Lockbox
U.S. Post Office – USCIS
P.O. Box 660867
Dallas, TX 75266

Courier deliveries – USCIS
Attn: AOS
2501 S. State Hwy 21 Business
Suite 400
Lewisville, TX 75067

Phoenix Lockbox
U.S Post Office – USCIS
P.O Box 21281
Phoenix, AZ 85036

Courier deliveries – USCIS
Attn: AOS
1820 E. Skyharbor Circle S
Suite 100
Phoenix, AZ 85034

Limits on Unemployment

  • Pre-Completion: No limit
  • Post-Completion: 90 days or less during the year of OPT

Reporting Requirements

Students on post-completion OPT must report changes in employment and all periods of unemployment to the UT Dallas ISSO. Email or mail the UT Dallas OPT Reporting Form to meet this requirement. You will be sent an email when the report is complete, within three business days.

NOTE: Changes of address reported on the OPT Employment Report Form affect only the SEVIS immigration system. To update your address in the student information system, do so through Galaxy (current students) or the Registrar’s Office (alumni).