OPT Overview

Optional Practical Training (OPT) allows F-1 visa holders the opportunity to gain practical training in their field of study after graduation.  The International Programs Team is here to guide you through the application process.

The following resources pertain to a standard, one-year post-completion OPT program.

Spring 2024 OPT Filing Dates

Steps for OPT Application

Schedule an appointment with International Programs at least three months before graduation to discuss OPT.  At the appointment, we will discuss:

  • The OPT application timeline
  • Completing your LC State OPT forms and the USCIS online application for employment authorization
  • Searching for work in your field with the LC State Student Employment-Career Center
  • Maintaining your visa status while doing your OPT

Submit the LC State Application for OPT with your academic advisor's signature as early as 90 days before your program end date (graduation).

You will file your OPT application online with USCIS during this appointment. Please bring your documents for upload, as well as payment method.

You will receive a receipt from USCIS.  Use the USCIS Case Number to track your case at USCIS Case Status Online. You may search for jobs while your application is processing.  Our career advisors in the Student Employment and Career Center will help you connect with local, regional, and national employers.