Optional Practical Training Eligibility

To be eligible for Optional Practical Training:

  • You must have completed at least one academic year with the same SEVIS number (found at the top left side of page 1 of the I-20). 

  • You must apply prior to the end of the 60 day grace period following the quarter/term in which all requirements for graduation are met (for graduate students this means all degree requirements except dissertation/thesis/project). 

  • You must have a recommendation for OPT on page 2 of your I-20 from your International Student Advisor at SISS to successfully apply. The recommendation is only good for 30 days.

  • You cannot work or volunteer while waiting for USCIS to process the application. This means if you did not submit a timely application to begin working the day after the quarter ends, you will have a gap in your employment eligibility.  You may not continue working on campus if there is a gap.  See an SISS advisor if you have any questions about your work eligibility to avoid working illegally. 

    Note: SISS advisors are available to answer questions during this process after confirmed workshop attendance by making an appointment with their advisor.

  • You must have been authorized for fewer than 365 days of full-time CPT during the degree program. Part-time CPT does not affect OPT eligibility.