F-1 Optional Practical Training (OPT)

OPT

PLEASE NOTE: We have an extensive amount of information on our website to answer questions and apply for this benefit; please use.

Select the appropriate link below to learn more about F-1 OPT and how to apply.

Please go to https://www.uscis.gov/forms/forms-information/uscis-phoenix-and-dallas-lockbox-facilities to know where to mail your Pre- or Post-Completion OPT application based on address you put on your I-765.

OPT Information Sessions

The ISSO conducts Optional Practical Training (OPT) information workshops several times throughout the semester for international students in F1 status who are graduating and intending to apply for OPT, work authorization in the field of study for up to 12 months. 

All OPT workshops dates can be found on OPT Workshop page and our ISSO Calendar

Any student who wishes to apply for OPT must attend ONE of the required information sessions.  Also, students should read the following before attending.

  • Students must be in lawful F1 immigration status for one full academic year (fall and spring semesters) in order to be eligible to apply for OPT.
  • Application MUST be received by USCIS no later than 60 days after the student’s graduation date. 
  • Processing time by USCIS varies but can be up to 3 months.  Therefore students are strongly encouraged to apply up to 90 days prior to graduation.
  • Students are eligible for an additional 12 months of OPT after obtaining a higher degree.
  • During OPT, students MUST update the school with any changes in employment and address.
  • Students on OPT who have received a degree in one of the ‘STEM’ fields (Science, Technology, Engineering, or Mathematics) may be eligible for a one-time 24-month extension. 

For your convenience, view the OPT PowerPoint Presentation used in our Workshops                      

(Viewing this content does NOT fulfill the requirement of attending an OPT Session)