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Application Process

Compile the following OPT application documents to submit to ISSS at least 3 months in advance of requested OPT start date:

  • Completed OPT Application – Complete OPT Application form and obtain appropriate academic advisor signature.
  • $410 personal check payable to U.S. Department of Homeland Security for I-765 application fee
  • Completed I-765 Form
  • Completed G-1145 Form
  • Passport-style photos – with full name and I-94 number (11 digits) on back of each photo (Photo must be taken within 30 days)
  • Copy of I-94
  • Copy of Passport I.D. page(s) including expiration date
  • Copy of Visa Stamp
  • Copy of all previous Employment Authorization Documents (EAD cards) if you previously been granted employment
  • Copy of all previous I-20s with CPT (Curricular Practical Training) and/or OPT (Optional Practical Training) from Vanderbilt OR previous institutions
  1. Completed OPT applications may be submitted at the ISSS front desk.  If you have questions, you may come to walk-in hours or schedule an appointment with your International Student Adviser.
  2. Your International Student Adviser will review your application materials, issue a new I-20 with OPT recommendation, and finalize your OPT Application Package.  You will receive an email from your International Student Adviser when your OPT application is ready to pick up at ISSS.
  3. You must mail the completed OPT application packet to Immigration (USCIS) WITHIN 30 DAYS OF OPT I-20 ISSUANCE to an address below:

Address for Regular Postal Mail
USCIS, Dallas Lockbox
PO Box 660867
Dallas, TX  75266

Address for Express Mail (i.e. FedEx, UPS)
Attention: AOS
2501 S. State Hwy. 121; Business Suite 400
Lewisville, TX  75067
Phone: 1-800-375-5283

NOTE: Do not begin employment until you have received the EAD for approved OPT authorization. The EAD is a license-sized picture card that indicates the approved employment start and end dates. Employment is not permitted before the approved start date or after the approved end date. OPT is not contingent upon an employment offer.