Optional Practical Training


Important Notice:
  • US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is accepting and deciding applications, including Optional Practical Training (OPT) and STEM OPT, regardless of the country of origin of applicants.
  • The ISSO recommends that eligible students and alumni continue to apply for these immigrant benefits, comply with all filing deadlines, and respond to any Requests for Evidence as usual.

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