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Optional Practical Training (OPT)

OPT is intended to provide hands-on practical work experience in the U.S., complementary to the academic program. Please note:

Certain science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) degree holders may be eligible for an additional 24 month extension of OPT employment. For more information review the F-1 Optional Practical Training STEM Extension. Duration of status and work authorization may also be extended with an OPT H-1B Cap-Gap Extension.

The OPT application must be received by the USCIS within 30 days of the date on which the International Student Office (ISO) issues the OPT I-20. If filed with USCIS after 30 days of the OPT I-20 issuance date, your application will be denied.  The OPT application can be received no earlier than 90 days before the program completion date as printed on your Form I-20.  If filed with USCIS more than 90 days before the program completion date, your application will be denied.

To be eligible for Optional Practical Training, you must:have been:
  • lawfully enrolled on a full-time basis for one full academic year;
  • currently be maintaining a full-time program of study and valid F-1 status; and
  • work in a job directly related to your major field of study.
Apply for OPT

  • You do not need a job offer prior to applying for OPT.
  • During post-completion OPT there is a 90-day limitation on unemployment; therefore, F-1 Status dependent upon employment.
  • If you are uncertain whether you meet the eligibility requirements, please contact ISO.
  • If you decide NOT to mail your OPT application (Form I-765 plus supporting documentation) to USCIS for any reason, you must notify a P/DSO immediately so that we can timely cancel your OPT recommendation in SEVIS. Failure to inform us can cause problems in the future.
OPT Employer Update

To report your employment and any subsequent changes, click below.