OPT Overview

Optional Practical Training (OPT) is a benefit of the F-1 visa that allows international students the opportunity to work for one year in the United States, most often following graduation.  Students must apply for Optional Practical Training.  The International Programs Team is here to guide you through the application process.

The following resources pertain only to the standard Post-Completion OPT program.

Spring 2023 OPT Filing Dates

Steps for OPT Application

All OPT applicants must schedule an OPT Advising Appointment with a DSO.  At this advising appointment, advisors will discuss the following:

  • Student's OPT recommendation request
  • USCIS OPT application requirements
  • Requirements for maintaining status while on OPT
  • OPT Application timeline
  • LC State Career and Employment services

You may submit an OPT Recommendation Request to the International Programs Office as early as 90 days before your program end date.  OPT recommendation requests require a signature from your academic advisor.

You will file your OPT application online during this appointment.

You will receive a receipt from USCIS.  Use the USCIS Case Number to track your case at USCIS Case Status Online.

We suggest using the time during which your application is pending for conducting a job search.  Our team of career advisors in the Student Employment and Career Center will help you connect with local, regional, and national employers.