Post-completion OPT is a type of work authorization for F-1 students who are completing a bachelor’s or graduate degree in the US. Its purpose is to provide an opportunity for employment experience in a student’s field of study. OPT is approved by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Students who are interested in applying for OPT are required to read the OPT Instructions below.
The OPT Instructions include the following information:
- OPT eligibility requirements
- Application timeline
- Filing deadline
- Form I-765 instructions
- Mailing instructions
- Travel while on OPT
- Reporting requirements while on OPT
- Other pertinent topics related to OPT
Fall 2017 graduates can submit their OPT I-20 Request to OIS as early as September 14, 2017. Spring 2018 graduates can submit their OPT I-20 Request as early as February 9, 2018.
Once students receive their OPT I-20 from OIS, they can assemble the OPT application packet and mail it to USCIS for processing. Refer to the OPT Application Checklist for a list of required documents for the OPT application.
F-1 students on OPT are required to report their employment information and address changes to OIS. Students can inform OIS of the changes using the online OPT Employment Reporting System once they receive their Employment Authorization Document (EAD) in the mail, the start date on the EAD has been reached, and they have a job offer. All employment and address changes will be updated in SEVIS accordingly. In addition, OIS may share students’ employment information with the USC Career Center for institutional reporting requirements; however, outside of SEVIS reporting requirements, students’ individual identities will not be shared.