Application Procedure

You must apply for Post-completion OPT prior to your program completion date. Program completion is defined as the day that you complete all requirements for your degree. This is normally the graduation date, but in some cases may be earlier if, for example, a graduate student defends his/her dissertation early in the semester.

The application procedure is as follows:

  1. Complete I-765 - Application for Employment Authorization (must be received by USCIS before program completion date). For question #16, write (c) (3) (i).
  2. Obtain two Passport photos 2”x2” (full frontal, not more than 30 days old when application is filed) (see specifications on I-765 instructions).
  3. Prepare a check or money order to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) for $380.
  4. Make two copies each of
    1. your passport information page,
    2. current F-1 visa,
    3. front and back of I-94 card (should be in your passport, copy needed even if back is blank),
    4. all I-20 forms including those issued by Puget Sound and other schools (page 1 & 3 of SEVIS forms or page 3 & 4 of any pre-SEVIS I-20 form), and
    5. all previous U.S. Employment Authorization Documents (EAD card).
  5. Contact Allyson Lindsley ( to set up an appointment for practical training and bring along the items listed above, as well as all I-20s you have received from Puget Sound or other schools. Please allow at least a half hour to complete the appointment.
  6. Bring all of the above to International Programs along with your valid passport and current Form I-20 at the appointment.
  7. We will review your documents and, provided you meet the eligibility requirements, will issue a new I-20 with OPT recommendation for you to submit all application materials to USCIS.
  8. If you wish to receive electronic notification (e-Notification) that your application has been accepted, you must complete form G-1145 - E-Notification of Application/Petition Acceptance - and clip it to the first page of your application.
  9. Have the International Programs Office make a copy of your entire packet before you mail it!
  10. Mail your completed application (by certified return-receipt mail, Priority Mail or Express mail from the U.S. Postal Service, or an express mail carrier such as FedEx, DHL or UPS)