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Pre-Completion OPT

This is the OPT performed by an F-1 student before completion of their course of study.

Students authorized to participate in pre-completion OPT must work part-time, 20 hours a week while school is in session. They can engage in full-time employment during their annual vacation and when school is not in session.


You are eligible to apply for OPT if you meet the following criteria:

  • You are currently in valid F-1 status
  • You have been enrolled full-time in F-1 status for at least one academic year (i.e. fall and spring semesters)
  • You have not previously been approved for 12 months of OPT at the same degree level
  • You have not used 12 months or more of Curricular Practical Training (CPT)


  • Students on pre-completion OPT are still required to meet the full-time enrollment requirement each semester except when school is not in session.
  • Pre-completion OPT must end by the students’ graduation date. If they still have additional OPT time left they must file for Post-completion OPT.
  • Time for pre-completion OPT is deducted from the 12-months standard OPT eligibility at half (½) the full-time rate. That means a student who completed 6 months of Pre-completion OPT it is equivalent to 3 months of standard OPT.

Application Procedure

Students are strongly encouraged to apply for OPT as soon as possible. You may apply for pre-completion OPT up to 90 days before you will complete one academic year. You do not need a job offer to apply for OPT. It may take up to three months for U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to process your application.


Submit the items listed below to OISSS to apply for OPT:

  • A $410 check or money order made payable to “U.S. Department of Homeland Security”
  • Completed Optional Practical Training (OPT) Request Form
  • Completed Form I-765 typed and signed in blue pen. Enter the following OPT eligibility code on item #27: (c) (3) (A)
  • Completed Form G-1145, E-Notification of Application/Petition Acceptance
  • Photocopies of all previously issued Form I-20s, including I-20s from other schools
  • Photocopies of any previous Employment Authorization Documents (front and back) if applicable
  • Copy of electronic Form I-94 or copy of the paper I-94 (front and back)
  • Photocopy of the passport biographic page with photo and expiration date
  • Photocopy of your visa page

Office of International Student and Scholar Services

521 Lancaster Avenue
Powell 013
Richmond, KY 40475
Phone: 859-622-3446

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