Optional Practical Training

F-1 Students can apply for OPT 90 days prior and up to 60 days following the completion of studies. Please see the tables below to check your OPT application dates.

*Note: USCIS must receive your completed application package by the application end date or else it will be denied.

Bachelor’s, Master’s, and Doctoral Students on the UNLV Main Campus
Graduating Semester Graduation Date OPT Application Opens OPT Application Closes* OPT Start Date Period
Summer 2019 August 16, 2019 May 20, 2019 October 15, 2019 August 17, 2019 - October 15, 2019
Fall 2019 December 14, 2019 September 16, 2019 February 12, 2020 December 15, 2019 - February 12, 2020
Spring 2020 May 16, 2020
February 17, 2020
July 15, 2020 May 17, 2020 - July 15, 2020
Summer 2020 August 14, 2020 May 18, 2020 October 13, 2020 August 15, 2020 - October 13, 2020
Fall 2020 December 12, 2020
September 14, 2020
February 10, 2021 December 13, 2020 - February 10, 2021
Spring 2021 May 15, 2021 February 15, 2021 July 14, 2021 May 16, 2021 - July 14, 2021
Nursing Students
Graduating Semester Graduation Date OPT Application Opens OPT Application Closes* OPT Start Date Period
Fall 2019 December 20, 2019 September 23, 2019 February 18, 2020 December 21, 2019 - February 18, 2020
Spring 2020  April 24, 2020 January 27, 2020 June 23, 2020 April 25, 2020 - June 23, 2020
Summer 2020 August 21, 2020
May 26, 2020
October 20, 2020 August 22, 2020 - October 20, 2020
Fall 2020  December 18, 2020 September 21, 2020 February 16, 2021 December 19, 2020 - February 16, 2021
Spring 2021 April 23, 2021
January 25, 2021
June 22, 2021 April 24, 2021 - June 22 2021
Summer 2021 August 27, 2021 June 1, 2021 October 26, 2021 August 28, 2021 - October 26, 2021

School of Dentistry Students

Dental medicine and dental surgery
Graduating Semester Graduation Date OPT Application Opens OPT Application Closes* OPT Start Date Period
Spring 2020 April 17, 2020 January 12, 2020 June 18, 2020 April 18, 2020 - June 18, 2020
Spring 2021 April 16, 2021 January 18, 2021 June 15, 2021 April 17, 2021 - June 15, 2021
Oral Biology
Graduating Semester Graduation Date OPT Application Opens OPT Application Closes* OPT Start Date Period
TBD TBD TBD TBD TBD
TBD TBD TBD TBD TBD

OPT Application Process

Step 1: Sending Your Documents  

Step 2: Scheduling an Appointment

  • Once you receive an email for your OPT I-20, make an appointment with your international advisor (DSO).

Step 3: Your OISS Appointment

You will need to bring the following to your appointment – to complete the process, organize your documents in this order:

  1. Two (2) passport-style photos (2”x 2”) taken within 30 days. The background must be completely white.
  2. Check or money order for $410, payable to: Department of Homeland Security
  3. Completed G-1145 form
  4. Completed I-765 form. Do not sign.
  5. Copy of your current/most recent, valid passport (Passport Information Page Only)
  6. Copy of your current/most recent F-1 visa
  7. Copy of your I-94 (front and back) or you can print an electronic copy.
  8. Photocopies of pages 1 - 3 of all your previous I-20s (Do not copy the regulations)
    1. This includes I-20s from previous schools (including those from high school – if applicable)
    2. If you feel like you are missing any I-20s, please request copies using the Reprint I-20s form.
  9. Copy of the front and back of your previous Employment Authorization Document (EAD) (if applicable)

Step 4: Mail your OPT application to USCIS

Mail your application to either of the below addresses. Your application must be received within 30 days of the date on the OPT I-20. It is your responsibility to send it on time!

For U.S. Postal Service (USPS) Deliveries

USCIS
PO Box 21281
Phoenix, AZ 85036

For Express Mail and Courier Deliveries (Ex: FedEx, UPS, DHL)

USCIS
Attn : AOS
1820 E. Skyharbor Circle S
Suite 100
Phoenix, AZ 85034

After You Submit Your Application

You will receive an email/text 7-10 days after USCIS has accepted your application. This does not mean that your OPT has been approved, or that you have been granted any benefits.

Important: If you receive a Request for Evidence from USCIS, bring it into an OISS advisor immediately and we will help you respond. This request is time sensitive, so bring it to OISS a soon as possible.

Updating Address while OPT is pending

If you move while your OPT application is pending with USCIS and you did not give them a separate mailing address, you will need to update your mailing address with USCIS.

It is recommended that all OPT students also verify their address with USPS before updating USCIS.

Responsibilities and Maintaining F-1 Status while on OPT

After you receive your EAD card from USCIS, email a copy of the card to our office.  You may also email the card directly to your international advisor.

Reminders — Opt Rules & Regulations

  • You can only begin work when you receive your EAD and can only work during the dates noted on the EAD card.
  • All employment must be directly related to your major.
  • You are allowed a maximum 90 days of total unemployment while on OPT; after that, your OPT may be canceled.
    • Note: full-time employment on OPT means that you are employed in your field of study and you are working more than 20 hours per week.
  • You have a 60-day grace period following successful completion of OPT; you must depart the U.S. before this time (OR before the grace period ends you may file for a change of status, transfer your I-20 record to a new school, or begin a new program. Contact your international advisor for more information)
  • You must report any changes to employment or address to your international student advisor within 10 days of the change.
  • NOTE: STUDENTS ON 24-MONTH STEM OPT – contact your international advisor directly to report any changes in employment (this will require updates to the I-983 training plan also)

On the start date of your OPT, you should receive an email (check your UNLV email account!) from do-not-reply.SEVP@ice.dhs.gov with information about creating an OPT portal account.  Follow the instructions to create your account.  Once you have claimed your account, future logins will take place through the OPT portal login page.

If you have not received this email, or if you have locked yourself out of your portal account, please complete the Portal Account Reset request form.

Within 10 days of any changes to address or employment (moving to a new address, starting a job, quitting a job, adding a second job, etc.), login to the OPT portal and update your employment information.

Always notify your international advisor after you update your opt portal information in order to request a new, updated I-20. You can request a new I-20 by completing the Reprint I-20 request form.

Make sure that you enter information for all fields in the portal, and remember to provide clear explanation when asked to “explain how the employment relates to your degree.”