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International Student & Scholar Services


Int'l Student / Scholar Svcs
Fax: 202-885-3354
Butler Pavilion, Room 410

ISSS office walk-in advising hours: Mondays: 12:00 noon - 5:00 p.m. Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays: 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Bakar, Senem S
Director, International Student & Scholar Services

Int'l Student / Scholar Svcs
4400 Massachusetts Avenue NW
410 Butler Pavilion
Washington, DC, USA 20016-8041

OPT Application Procedure


Application steps:
1. Sign up for an OPT session on-line. Sessions are offered by ISSS frequently during each semester.

2. Attend an OPT session. Bring the following forms to the session:

  • All previous and current I-20s (including I-20s from other schools)
  • Passport
  • F-1 visa (if applicable)
  • All previous OPT (EAD) cards

3. Bring to ISSS the following documents (after you have attended an OPT session):

  • Certification Form for Completion of Academic Program, completed by you and your academic advisor. Please note that pre-completion OPT start dates must begin and end before the completion of the degree program, while post-completion OPT dates must start within 60 days of the completion of program date.
  • All previous and current I-20s (including I-20s from other schools)
  • Passport
  • F-1 visa (if applicable)
  • I-94 (small white card, usually stapled in passport)

Please note that we cannot accept incomplete applications.

4. ISSS reviews your application and student status and then makes a recommendation to SEVIS for pre/post-completion OPT. ISSS then produces a new SEVIS I-20. ISSS will call or e-mail you when your new OPT application packet is ready for you to pick up.

5. Pick up your application from ISSS. ISSS will provide you with the list of documents to mail to the USCIS Service Center and the mailing address. In addition to the documents returned to you from ISSS you will also need to include:

  • A check for the I-765 fee of $380, payable to "Department of Homeland Security." Please verify the I-765 fee on the USCIS website for any filing fee increases.
  •   (Optional) G-1145 for E-Notification of Acceptance

6. Mail your completed OPT application to your local USCIS Service Center for final approval. USCIS approves your OPT application and issues your Employment Authorization document (EAD) card.

Filing Deadlines:

Pre-completion OPT can be filed 120 days before the OPT start date if the student has completed 1 academic year of study. If the student has not completed 1 academic year of study, s/he can apply up to 90 days before the end of the full academic year.

Post-completion OPT can be filed 90 days prior to the completion of program date (listed on the Certification Form for Completion of Academic Program) and up to 60 days after the completion of program end-date. Because the government system is not updated to allow for applications after the student's completion date, we recommend that the student apply before s/he completes her/his program.

Pre/Post-completion OPT applications MUST be filed within 30 days of OPT recommendation from ISSS. Applications received before or after the above filing dates may be DENIED by the adjudicating Service Center.