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.
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.
Here is an OPT video that explains the process.
For detailed instructions please see the ISS OPT application form
I-765 Application for Employment Authorization
G-1145 - USCIS E-Notification
24-Month STEM OPT Extension
For information on the 24-month STEM OPT Extension, click here.