Optional Practical Training

Optional Practical Training is an employment benefit available to students in valid F-1 status.  OPT allows students to work in a temporary position that is directly related to their field of study, as indicated on the Form I-20, for up to 12 months.  Applications for OPT are reviewed by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and take approximately 3-4 months to process.  Students must attend an OPT informational meeting or workshop with the International Student Advisor before requesting a recommendation for OPT.


Optional Practical Training (PDF)

Once the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) approves an international student’s OPT application, students will receive an Employment Authorization (EAD) card. Students cannot begin employment until they have received their EAD card. The EAD card explicitly states the dates students are authorized to work. All OPT employment must be directly related to the student’s field of study and occur within the periods of authorized employment as shown on the EAD. Please review the OPT Approval – Next Steps document carefully for other important information (information for employers, how to report information in a student’s SEVP Portal, proof of employment, traveling while on OPT, allowable unemployment days, etc.)

USCIS Form I-765

USCIS Form G-1145