How do I apply for Optional Practical Training (OPT)

At any time during this process, please contact or meet with the International Student Coordinator if you have any questions.

Choose an OPT Start-Date

This is the date that you would like the work-authorization to begin. If you are applying for Post-Completion OPT, you must choose a start-date that is within 60 days past your completion date listed on Page 1 (item 5) on your current I-20.

Completion of studies is defined for immigration purposes as the date when you complete all of the requirements for your degree. It is not the date you receive your diploma.

For undergraduates, it is the final day of examinations of your final semester.

For graduate students (Master’s and Ph.D.), the completion date could be the final day of examinations of your final semester, or the date of defense or the date you submit your final dissertation or thesis to the Graduate College.

Exception to the rule: Graduate students who have completed all coursework and are only working on a final project/thesis or dissertation, could use another date appropriate for their individual situation. Please arrange an appointment with an OIE advisor if you have any questions.

Gather the following documents

For OIE:

Letter of Support from your advisor which verifies your completion of studies.

This letter is required for OIE to issue the OPT I-20. It can be scanned and sent to us via email after it has been printed on UVM letterhead and signed by your academic advisor.

For your OPT application:

Meet with the International Student Coordinator

The International Student Coordinator will issue you an I-20 endorsed for OPT and review your OPT application materials.

Mail your OPT application packet to USCIS at the following address

If you are sending it via Express Mail
(FedEx, UPS, DHL or US Postal Service):

USCIS
Attn: AOS
2501 S. State Hwy. 121 Business
Suite 400
Lewisville TX 75067

If you are sending it by normal US Postal Service options
(including Priority Mail):

USCIS
PO Box 660867
Dallas, TX 75266