Optional Practical Training (OPT) for F-1 Students
Information in this section relates to standard Optional Practical Training (OPT). The following sections describe in detail the requirements for each level of the application process:
The following information is a short description and general criteria to consider before applying for OPT.
OPT is defined in the Federal Regulations as temporary employment directly related to a student's field of study. During OPT, a student remains in F-1 status. The end result of the OPT request process is an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) issued by United States Citizenship and Immigrations Services (USCIS).
To be eligible for OPT, the student must:
Note: Post-completion OPT applications are typically denied by USCIS if the Level of Education indicated in item #4 on the I-20 is “non-degree.”
Some students may be eligible for a 17-month STEM extension of OPT.
Last reviewed: 09/10