Optional Practical Training

Optional Practical Training (OPT) is a possible benefit of F-1 student status. Optional Practical Training (OPT) may be available to F-1 students after completing one year of full-time enrollment at a U.S. college or university in the academic year immediately preceding OPT. Students may request up to one year of OPT per educational level (ex: one bachelors = one educational level, two master's degrees = one educational level).

Starting Fall 2016, OPT workshops are MANDATORY for all students applying for Post-Completion OPT. Students must attend either an in-person workshop, or complete an online session via eLearning if you have applied for graduation in the current semester.

Fall 2016 graduates

Application Dates:

Earliest date to request OPT I-20 from ISSO : Sept. 16, 2016

USCIS must receive application on or before : Feb. 13, 2017

OPT Start/End Dates :

Earliest OPT start date a student can request: Dec. 16, 2016

Latest OPT start date a student can request : Feb. 13, 2017

Spring 2017 graduates

Application Dates:

Earliest date to request OPT I-20 from ISSO : Feb. 7, 2017

USCIS must receive application on or before : Jul. 7, 2017

OPT Start/End Dates:

Earliest OPT start date a student can request : May 9, 2017

Latest OPT start date a student can request : Jul. 7, 2017

OPT Resources

OPT Options