Post-Completion OPT provides for up to one year of practical training authorization after completion of studies. Students can apply up to 90 days before and up to 60 days after program completion.
Students are recommended to apply before completing their last semester of enrollment to avoid losing days of employment availability unless there is a chance that an additional semester will be required to complete degree requirements.
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 iComet. You can log into iComet using your UT Dallas NetID and password. The Post-Completion OPT workshop is available under the "workshops" tab on the left-hand side.
- Full-time enrolled at least one full academic year (two long semesters).
- Currently in valid F-1 status.
- Eligible for graduation.
- If completing two programs in the same semester, you may request when submitting your OPT application to the ISSO that your second major be listed in the remarks of your I-20.
- Splitting post-completion OPT between two degrees at the same educational level is no longer an option for F-1 students.
- Carefully review the information in the OPT Guide.
- Attend a mandatory OPT Workshop or complete an online session via iComet.
- Review Form I-765 Instructional Video.
- Pay the $100 Practical Training Fee*.
- Visit https://icomet.utdallas.edu and submit Post-Completion OPT Request eForm under F-1 Alumni.
- Upload completed USCIS Form I-765
- If you had a previous OPT, upload a copy of previous EAD
- You will be sent an email that the OPT I-20 is ready for pickup. You will be given mailing instructions when you pick up the I-20.
- Review your OPT application packet before mailing by watching the OPT Packet Review Video.
- Compile the application, make a copy for your personal file and mail the application to USCIS.
USCIS must receive your application within 30 days of the date you were recommended for OPT in SEVIS and within 60 days after your program completion date. If the recommendation is more than 30 days old at the time of receipting your application may be denied.
- USCIS will provide a receipt a few weeks after your submission. Check it for errors!
- If approved, an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) will be sent typically within 30 days (however it may take longer) to the address listed on the I-765.
- You can begin work once you receive the EAD and reach the start date listed on it.
*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.
- G-1145, E-Notification of Application/Petition Acceptance (Optional) Form provided by ISSO
- Two passport photos. Follow Department of State passport photo specifications.
- Check or money order for $410, made payable to U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Or use Form G-1450, Authorization for Credit Card Transactions.
- Print I-94 number at top of check. Do not use a temporary 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 (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.
U.S. Post Office – USCIS
P.O. Box 660867
Dallas, TX 75266
U.S Post Office – USCIS
P.O Box 21281
Phoenix, AZ 85036
2501 S. State Hwy 121 Business
Lewisville, TX 75067
1820 E. Skyharbor Circle S
Phoenix, AZ 85034
Beginning OPT Employment
You may not lawfully begin employment, or pre-employment training, until you receive your EAD and the start date of your OPT has arrived. You may locate your OPT start date on your EAD card.If you work during a gap between previous work authorization (for example, CPT authorization, or on-campus work authorization) and the start of your OPT authorization, you violate your F-1 status.
Ending OPT Employment
You must end your OPT employment by the end date on your EAD, unless you have properly and timely filed for the 24-Month OPT Extension.If you are not eligible for the 24-Month OPT Extension, or did not properly file for the extension, you have a 60 day grace period after the completion of your OPT period to:
- Prepare to depart the U.S.
- Obtain a new I-20 for a new program of study at UT Dallas or another college/university
- Or take additional steps to maintain legal status
Report all changes in name, address and employment to the ISSO throughout all periods of OPT. This is necessary to maintain your F-1 status and retain your permission to work.Refer to additional information on meeting your OPT Reporting requirements. Please contact an advisor if you have any questions.
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).
The SEVP Portal is an important tool that lets F-1 students on post-completion optional practical training (OPT) and STEM OPT update their physical home addresses, mailing addresses, telephone numbers, employer information and monitor their employment authorization.
SEVP will email prospective SEVP Portal users important account creation information. Please make sure you have access to your UTD email account to receive this email from SEVP. You may need to reset your UTD email password or contact the UTD Help Desk for assistance if you are unable to access your UTD email account. The portal shares information with SEVIS but does not give students direct access to SEVIS. For detailed information, visit SEVP Portal Help. By law, you are still required to report any changes during OPT or