Optional Practical Training
Optional Practical Training (OPT) is employment authorization which allows F-1 students to apply knowledge gained in the classroom to a practical work experience. You may be entitled to up to 12 months of optional practical training per educational level. If a student begins a new academic program at a higher level, the student is eligible for another 12 months of OPT. There is a filing fee of $410 to receive authorization for OPT.
Please note that Optional Practical Training requires authorization from United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), which typically takes 3-6 months to obtain. We recommend that you apply no less than 90 days prior to graduation.
Post-completion OPT December Graduates
Early Application (recommended): Mid- September (actual date will be no sooner than 90 days before your program end date)
Last day to submit application: Mid- February (actual date will be 60 days after your program end date)
Early Application (recommended): First week of February (actual date will be no sooner than 90 days before your program end date)
Last day to submit application: First week of July (actual date will be 60 days after your program end date)
Eligibility and Information
You can learn more by reviewing the USCIS official OPT Policy Guidance Document.
If you are eligible for OPT and are ready to begin your application, start by clicking the Apply Now button below.
Ready to start your OPT application?
The application on this site will further explain this and additional information, guide you in preparing the USCIS forms, and allow you to submit a copy of everything for your DSO to review before you mail in the official documents to USCIS.
If you prefer to learn more before starting an application, please make an appointment with your DSO.