Optional Practical Training
Optional Practical Training (OPT) is benefit given to F-1 students that allows you to work off–campus in a job related to your field of study. This training must be approved by U.S. Citizenship and Immigrations Services (USCIS) and requires an application process and fee.
You are given a benefit of OPT for a total of 12 months per educational level. This does not accumulate or carry-over to higher educational levels.
Other Reminders while on OPT:
You must continue to report any change of address to the ISSO within 10 days of your move.
Failure to do so may place your status in jeopardy.
You must report your employer information and any changes in employment while on OPT
Employment may not begin until your EAD card has been received.
OPT will allow you to work only in a job related to your major area of study.
Once authorized – you may accept employment anywhere in the United States – provided the employment is within your field of study.
While on OPT – you must get your I-20 signed every six months
If you transfer to another University to enter another degree program – your OPT authorization will automatically be terminated.
Review the FAQ’s on travel while on OPT.
Optional Practical Training - Instructions (updated 2/2013)
F-1 OPT Request Form - this form has been revised and will be completed the student and the academic advisor
USCIS Application for Employment Authorization
Form I-765 (updated 2/28/2011)
Form I-765 Instructions (updated 2/28/2011)