Optional Practical Training

What is Optional Practical Training?

Optional Practical Training (OPT) is temporary employment authorization that gives F-1 students an opportunity to apply knowledge gained in the classroom to a practical work experience off campus. Authorization for optional practical training is granted by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) and can take 2-4 months to obtain. 

OPT Eligibility

  • must be in full time student status for at least one full academic year preceding the submission of your OPT application

  • be maintaining valid F-1 status at the time of the application, and

  • intend to work in a position directly related to your major field of study.

For detailed instructions please see the ISS OPT Application Form

24-Month STEM OPT Extension

For information on the 24-month STEM OPT Extension, click here.