Optional Practical Training (OPT) is temporary employment that is directly related to an F-1 student’s major area of study. Under existing rules, an F-1 student may be authorized to receive up to 12 months of practical training upon completion of studies.
PLEASE DO NOT PLAN ANY INTERNATIONAL TRAVEL UNTIL YOU HAVE RECEIVED YOUR OPT CARD. IF YOU TRAVEL WHILE YOUR OPT IS PROCESSING IT MAY BE DENIED OR YOU WILL NOT BE ABLE TO RETURN TO THE U.S. UNTIL YOU HAVE THE OPT CARD IN YOUR HAND.
Application Process for Post-Completion OPT
Please fill out the following forms as much as you can. If you are not certain about filling in the forms or have doubts regarding a particular question of the form, we suggest you leave the question blank. We will assist you with any questions you have when you bring them to the ISO.
1. OPT Request Form, which must be signed by your academic advisor. Click Here To Download.
2. Completed Form I-765
3. Completed Form G-1145: This allows you to receive electronic notifications about your OPT application before you get
4. A copy of all your original I-20's
5. A copy of your passport (the biographical page with your picture is enough) and current visa. Note: these copies should be the actual size of your passport, not a computer generated blow up size.
6. A print out of your I-94
7. Two color photos. Click here for photograph specifications
After collecting all of the items above, you may bring them to the ISO anytime during office hours and someone will be able to assist you. After 1 week of processing, you will be created an 'OPT requested' I-20 and will receive an e-mail from our office asking you to schedule a one-on one appointment. At this point, a blank check or money order of $410 will be required. Please do not prepare this or fill in any information until we inform you that your new I-20 is ready to pick up.
It is imperative that you schedule your appointment within two weeks of receiving the OPT appointment needed e-mail. Otherwise your I-20 may expire before USCIS receives it.