OPT (Optional Practical Training) | Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center
TTUHSC students walking through Lubbock campus courtyard.

Applying for OPT

We encourage students to apply online and strongly discourage students from filing the paper application.

Step 1: Learn about OPT

Watch the OPT video by clicking on the link below.

Watch the Presentation

Step 2: Obtain I-20 with OPT recommendation from your International Student Counselor

Once you have watched the linked OPT Presentation above and are ready to apply for the OPT, you will need to complete the following documents and either email them to your international student counselor. The I-20 with OPT recommendation (the I-20 you will need to file OPT application) will be issued and provided to you after your counselor reviews and approves these documents:

  • Academic Adviser's Statement of Program Completion Form.You will need to make an appointment with an academic adviser in your department to determine when your academic program will end. Your academic adviser will have to fill out and sign the Academic Adviser's Statement of Program Completion Form.
  • The OPT Acknowledgment Form, which shows your understanding of the OPT regulations and your intent to follow them. It is not part of the OPT application.

Step 3: File your OPT application and wait for your EAD card

Once you receive the I-20 with OPT recommendation from your counselor, you will need to create a USCIS online account.  Then you will file your application using our video instructions on how to complete the online application. 

Once you have made the application fee payment and received your payment confirmation, your application is completed. USCIS will send your EAD card and any other relevant documents to the mailing address you provided to them. It is critically important that you keep USCIS informed of any address changes. If you change your mailing address while OPT application is pending, you must inform USCIS through your online USCIS account or at the USCIS website.

Remember, you can't start working until you have your EAD card and until the start date on the EAD card.

For those currently on OPT: Did you move? Change employer? Start a new job?

Please refer to our OPT Reporting page to report these changes to your ISSS counselor. Remember, the regulations require that you report such changes within 10 days!