UT Tyler

Office of International Programs

Pre-Completion OPT

Pre-Completion Optional Practical Training (OPT) is authorized off-campus employment done before the completion of a student's program of study.

General Information

  • Available for a cumulative maximum of 12 months per educational level, whether pre- or post-completion.
  • USCIS processing of OPT applications is approximately two to three months.
  • Employment is part-time during fall and spring and full-time during official school breaks.
  • Full-time enrollment is required during fall and spring semesters.
  • Pre-completion OPT must end by the student's program completion date.
  • No limit on days of unemployment.
  • No reporting requirements (other than change of address).
  • Splitting OPT between pre- and post-completion requires two USCIS applications and fees.
  • ISSFS recommends Curricular Practical Training (CPT) rather than pre-completion OPT.


  • Full-time enroll at least one full academic year (two long semesters).
  • Employment must be directly related to field of study.
  • Currently in valid F-1 status.
  • Have not yet completed your program of study.

Application Process

  1. Carefully review the information on this website.
  2. Submit the following to International Student, Scholar and Faculty Services (ISSFS):
  3. At your OPT appointment, you will receive your OPT I-20 and assemble your OPT application packet for mailing.
  4. You will mail your OPT application packet to USCIS. The USCIS I-765 application processing time is approximately two to three months.
  5. If your application is approved, USCIS will mail your Employment Authorization Card to the address listed on your Form I-765.

Application Packet

  • USCIS Form G-1145, E-Notification of Application/Petition Acceptance (optional)
  • Two passport photos
  • Check or money order for $410, made payable to Department of Homeland Security
  • Original signed USCIS Form I-765
  • Copy of OPT Form I-20, all pages
  • Copy of passport ID page showing picture and expiration date
  • Copy of I-94, card or electronic print-out
  • Copy of F-1 visa
  • Copy of I-20 recommending CPT, issued by international student advisor.

Mailing the Application Packet

According to the USCIS website, the application mailing address is determined by the address listed on the Form I-765.

Mail to the Dallas Lockbox if the address listed on your Form I-765 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, US Virgin Islands or West Virginia.

Dallas Lockbox:

For US Postal Service (USPS) deliveries:


PO Box 66087

Dallas, TX 75266

For express mail and courier deliveries:


Attn: AOS

2501 S. State Hwy. 221 Business Suite 400

Lewisville, TX 75067

Mail to the Phoenix Lockbox if the address listed on your Form I-765 is to any other US state.

Phoenix Lockbox:

For US Postal Service (USPS) deliveries:


PO Box 21281

Phoenix, AZ 85036

For express mail and courier deliveries:


Attn: AOS

1820 E. Skyharbor Circle S., Suite 100

Phoenix, AZ 85034

Reporting Requirements

Report any changes in name, address and employment throughout all periods of OPT. This is a requirement for maintaining your F-1 status and your permission to work. Use the OPT Student Employment Report form.

Please note that updating your address through your myUTTyler account does not update your address in the SEVIS system. To ensure your address is updated in SEVIS, you must notify the graduate international student advisor at issfs@uttyler.edu.

UT Tyler