Optional Practical Training

What is Post-Completion OPT?

Post-Completion Optional Practical Training (OPT) is temporary employment authorization issued by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). The work students pursue while on Post-Completion OPT must be directly related to his/her/their major field of study. Post-Completion OPT may be used either 1) after the completion of a degree program or 2) after completion of all course requirements other than thesis, project or comprehensive final exam. Post-Completion OPT is generally issued for a duration of 12 months, but may be for less time if the student has previously applied and been granted Pre-Completion OPT. 

How do I apply for Post-Completion OPT?

The following information contains instructions for you to complete your OPT application and mail it to USCIS. Please follow the instructions very carefully. If you are unclear regarding a particular step, please email cie@csueastbay.edu

We strongly recommend your review the Online OPT Workshop materials before you complete this process.

Important Notes:

  • Copy your entire application before submitting to USCIS
  • Do NOT use any staples in the application

Submitting your documents to CIE via email

  • Submit the completed/signed (both sides) OPT Request Form
    • We will accept emails from your academic department in lieu of signatures while classes are not meeting in person
  • Submit the completed I-765 form for review.
    • Please type and print. CIE advisor will make any corrections directly on the form
  • CIE will review your request and documents, make any suggested changes and prepare your OPT Request I-20. 
  • CIE will then send you a scanned copy of your I-20. You will need to print the scanned copy and SIGN IT before mailing it as part of your OPT application
  • CIE will email you to pick up your original I-20 once the office reopens


Sending Your Completed OPT Application to USCIS

Once you have received your OPT request I-20 from CIE, you will need to prepare and submit the following list of items to USCIS:

  • Notification- G-1145, E-Notification of Application/Petition Acceptance. This should be first page
  • Payment- Fee for I-765 ($410), payable to US Department of Homeland Security. Personal check, cashier’s check or money order is acceptable.
    • Please note you do not have to pay the biometric services fee
  • Photos- Two full-face passport style photos. They must be taken in the USA and within the past 30 days. Put the photos in an envelope with your payment (check) and attach with a paperclip on top of the entire application. Do not staple the fee and the photos.
  • I-765- Original USCIS Form I-765. Make sure it is signed. Include all pages (7), even if they are blank
  • OPT I-20- photocopy of your new OPT Request I-20 from CIE
  • Previous I-20- photocopies of your previous I-20’s at this degree level
  • I-94- Photocopy of paper or printout of electronic Form I-94
  • EAD- Photocopy of any previous EAD cards (if applicable)
  • Passport- photocopy of Bio Page, most recent entry stamp, and photocopy of F-1 visa page.
    • If you changed your status in the USA and do not have an F-1 visa, please include a copy of your I-797 approval notice

Mailing your application to USCIS

  • We recommend you mail your application using a trackable method and keep a record of your application’s delivery
  • Make sure your application is received by USCIS less than 30 days after your OPT I-20’s issuance date.
    • If you delay your mailing and it is received after 30 days, USCIS will most likely deny your OPT application.
    • If you are close to the 30 days, please request a new I-20 from CIE
  • The address to which your EAD card will be sent determines where the application should be mailed
    • Your EAD card will be sent to the address you listed as the mailing address on the I-765
  • Direct Filing Addresses are listed on the USCIS I-765 Lockbox website