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Optional Practical Training

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 (link is external)

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: (link is external)

  • 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 (link is external) 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)". ( (link is external)).

  • 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.

  • 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.