OPT FAQ

Do you have questions about OPT? Browse our frequently asked questions collection to get immediate answers.

General

Practical training is the opportunity to apply knowledge gained in your program of study to off campus positions in your major field.  OPT is authorized by USCIS, US Citizenship and Immigration Services.

F-1 students have limited amounts of available Practical Training time during and after graduation.  Application and approval is required.

Please see our OPT Eligibility Checklist to verify your eligibility for application.

OPT is a benefit of the F-1 visa.  Application or approval for OPT does not change your immigration status in the US.  A person with OPT authorization is still considered to be in the US under an F-1 visa, possessing temporary employment authorization for OPT purposes.

You may only begin working once you have:

  1. Been approved by USCIS for OPT Employment Authorization and have received your EAD card.
  2. The effective start date listed on your EAD card has been reached.

No.  Once you apply for OPT, the OPT eligibility for that degree ends.  There is no recapture of unused OPT time.

There are several different types of practical training classifications:

  1. Post-Completion OPT
  2. Pre-Completion OPT
  3. Curricular Practical Training
  4. STEM OPT Extension.