Optional Practical Training (OPT)

OPT is a type of work authorization that permits F-1 students to gain work experience in their field of study while in the United States (US). OPT is not a visa; rather, it is a type of employment benefit for F-1 students who are maintaining their visa status. Students must first apply for OPT recommendation from an advisor at OIS. Then students mail documents to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) for adjudication. There are three types of OPT that are explained below:

Pre-completion OPT Work experience that is permitted during the student’s academic program (before the student’s program end date that is printed on the I-20).

Please schedule an appointment with an OIS advisor for additional information.

Post-completion OPT Work experience that occurs after the student’s academic program ends.

Please visit the Post-completion OPT page for additional information.

STEM OPT Extension Additional 24-months of work authorization after post-completion OPT has been approved that is reserved for specific Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) majors only. Please visit the STEM OPT Extension page for additional information.