Optional Practical Training

Optional Practical Training (OPT) is a possible benefit of F-1 student status. Optional Practical Training (OPT) may be available to F-1 students after completing one year of full-time enrollment at a U.S. college or university in the academic year immediately preceding OPT. Students may request up to one year of OPT per educational level (ex: one bachelors = one educational level, two master's degrees = one educational level).

  • OPT workshops are MANDATORY for all students applying for Post-Completion OPT. Students must attend either an in-person workshop, or complete an online session via eLearning if you have applied for graduation in the current semester.
  • USCIS recently updated Form I-765 which is commonly used by F-1 students when applying for Optional Practical Training (OPT). USCIS has stated that as of Feb. 21, 2017 they will no longer accept previous versions of Form I-765. Please use the most recent version of Form I-765 when applying for OPT or other employment authorizations.
  • UT Dallas does not allow volunteer employment on-campus during Optional Practical Training (OPT).

Summer 2017 graduates

Application Dates:

Earliest date to submit OPT request to ISSO : May 12, 2017

USCIS must receive application on or before : Oct. 11, 2017

OPT Start/End Dates :

Earliest OPT start date a student can request: Aug. 13, 2017

Latest OPT start date a student can request : Oct. 11, 2017

Fall 2017 graduates

Application Dates:

Earliest date to submit OPT request to ISSO : Sept. 15, 2017

USCIS must receive application on or before : Feb. 12, 2018

OPT Start/End Dates :

Earliest OPT start date a student can request: Dec. 15, 2017

Latest OPT start date a student can request : Feb. 12, 2018

OPT Resources

OPT Options