International Students »

Optional Practical Training (OPT)


IMPORTANT: Student must file for Optional Practical Training PRIOR to graduation date and no later than SIX weeks from the end of the semester.

F-1 students are eligible to apply for Optional Practical Training (OPT) authorization to gain work experience in a position that is directly related to their major area of study, as long as they have been in-status for one full academic year. For more information, please review the regulations for OPT at http://www.uscis.gov.

In order to apply for OPT, please provide the following: (Make sure you make copies for your records.)
  • Money order payable to Department of Homeland Security. Please check current fees at: http://www.uscis.gov

  • Two (2) Photos, full-frontal view, 2.0 inch x 2.0 inch. Photos must meet passport specifications. For more information about the change in the photo standards, visit the Department of State website at http://travel.state.gov/ Lightly print your name, SEVIS ID and I-94 number in pencil on the back of each photo.

  • Form I-765: Complete all items except for local address. The Multicultural Center will supply the information on your form. On item # 16, write "(c) (3) (i)". (http://www.uscis.gov).

  • Unofficial Degree plan.

  • Verification letter from the Admission Office with your anticipated graduation date.

  • Previous EAD card (photocopy of both sides), if applicable.

  • Copies of valid passport (photo, signature, visa, and expiration pages).

  • Copy of I-94 (front and back).

We will notify you via phone call or e-mail when:
  • The receipt notice from USCIS arrives. The receipt notice will contain a number you can use to track the progress of your case via the internet.

  • Your Employment Authorization Document (EAD) arrives.

PLEASE NOTE:
  • Once your package has been compiled and reviewed in the Multicultural Center, you will be notified to come and sign your new I-20. After that, you will mail the package to USCIS via certified mail.

  • You must provide the Multicultural Center with the address of your employer when you are hired.

  • Students must inform our office of any change of address or employer during their OPT year.

  • Your employment is not authorized until your EAD card is received.

  • Optional Practical Training authorization will be automatically terminated if the student transfers or begins studies at another school.

  • Students will be eligible for a maximum of 12 months of practical training for each higher educational level that they achieve.

Please contact an International Student Advisor if you have further questions.