Optional Practical Training
Optional Practical Training (OPT) is a possible benefit of F-1 student status, not an entitlement. 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).
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).
Fall 2015 graduates
Earliest date to request OPT I-20 from ISSO: Sep 18, 2015
USCIS must receive application on or before: Feb 15, 2016
Summer 2015 graduates
Earliest date to request OPT I-20 from ISSO: May 8, 2015
USCIS must receive application on or before: Oct 7, 2015
- Post Completion OPT Guide
- OPT workshop dates
- OPT workshop presentation slides
- International Students Services Office (ISSO) website
- OPT Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
- ISSO forms
- Pre-Completion OPT - part-time work while continuing as a full-time student.
- Coursework Completion OPT - part-time or full-time work for students who are working on a thesis or dissertation.
- Post-Completion OPT - full-time work after graduation.
- H-1B Cap Gap Relief - between OPT and H-1B.
- 17-Month OPT Extension - One-time OPT extension for students in certain degrees.
- G-1145, E-Notification of Application/Petition Acceptance (Optional) Form provided by ISSO
- Two passport photos
- Check for $380, made payable to Department of Homeland Security (Print I-94 number at top; staple your check in the middle of the first page; attach photos at the left hand, top corner.)
- Original I-765 form
- Copy of OPT I-20, pages 1 and 3
- 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 InstructionsAccording 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.
U.S. Post Office – USCIS
P.O. Box 660867
Dallas, TX 75266
Courier deliveries – USCIS
2501 S. State Hwy 21
Business Suite 400
Lewisville, TX 75067
U.S Post Office – USCIS
P.O Box 21281
Phoenix, AZ 85036
Courier deliveries – USCIS
1820 E. Skyharbor Circle S
Phoenix, AZ 85034