Optional Practical Training

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). 

Optional Practical Training FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions about Optional Practical Training
  • Can I travel while on OPT? 
  • Please refer to our travel webpage for detailed information about traveling while on OPT. 

STEM OPT Extension

STEM OPT Overview

Students in F-1 status who are currently on OPT can extend their work authorization an additional 24-months total if they meet certain criteria. Students who extend are required to maintain their status under the new regulations.  Official Department of Homeland Security guidance on the new STEM rules can be used as resource if needed.

Eligibility 

Students currently authorized for Optional Practical Training (OPT) who also:

Optional Practical Training (OPT)

Optional Practical Training Overview

Optional Practical Training (OPT) gives an F-1 student the opportunity to apply what they have learned in a degree program through off-campus employment after completion of all degree requirements. 

Employment approval takes at least 90 days, so careful planning is required.