International Student Services

Pre-Completion OPT

Pre-Completion OPT allows students who have not yet completed a degree program to be authorized for off-campus employment.

General Information

  • Total of one year of OPT per educational level, whether pre- or post-completion.
  • USCIS processing is 2-3 months.
  • Part-time employment during fall and spring, full-time during official school breaks.
  • Full-time enrollment required fall and spring semesters.
  • OPT must end by the student’s program completion date.
  • No unemployment limit.
  • No reporting requirements (other than changes of address).
  • Splitting OPT between pre- and post-completion requires two USCIS applications and fees.
  • Most UT Dallas students prefer Curricular Practical Training (CPT).
  • View Pre Completion OPT Timeline for more information.


  • Full-time enrolled at least one full academic year (two long semesters).
  • Currently in valid F-1 status.
  • Will complete your degree in a future semester.

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):
    • OPT I-20 Request Form
    • Copy of completed USCIS Form I-765
    • If you had a previous OPT, a copy of previous EAD
  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.

*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
  • 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 (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

Reporting Requirements

Report all changes in name, address and employment throughout all periods of OPT. This is necessary to maintain your F-1 status and retain your permission to work.

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).