Applying for F-1 Optional Practical Training (OPT)


If you are an F-1 student planning to work in U.S. this summer, it is time to review the eligibility criteria and process for Optional Practical Training (OPT), a temporary employment authorization that provides an opportunity to apply knowledge gained in an academic program to a practical work experience.

You must be physically present in the U.S. to apply for OPT.

You do not need a job to apply for OPT.

As it can take 90 days or more for USCIS to approve OPT, it is important to apply as early as possible:

  • Are you graduating this May? You will apply for post-completion OPT and the earliest date you can submit your application is Wednesday, February 24th.
  • Are you a continuing student? You will apply for pre-completion OPT and you can apply as early as 90 days before your requested employment start date.

To get started, you will find detailed information on eligibility, and application timeline and process on our F-1 OPT page. OISS will also be holding virtual OPT Workshops in early February at which time we will, among other things, review the process for setting up an OPT appointment with your  OISS adviser. We will be sending eligible students an invitation through email to participate in a workshop, so please look out for that in your inbox.

[See the OISS page for the original post and more information]

By Brian Miller
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