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Optional Practical Training is an employment benefit offered through U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services that allows international students with F-1 status to gain 12 months of off-campus work experience in their fields of study.
Graduating F-1 students who are eligible and interested in applying for Post–OPT work authorization are encouraged to apply early. The earliest Arizona State University’s International Students and Scholars Center will accept applications is Sept. 4, 2020.
Application completion dates
The program completion date for undergraduate students is the last day of classes or, in most cases, the date of graduation. The fall graduation date is Dec. 14, 2020.
The program completion date for graduate students depends on program requirements. Completion includes dissertation approval after defense, receipt of comprehensive exam results or project defense. Please consult with your academic advisor.
Note: The USCIS does not require proof of employment with your application for Post-OPT.
I want to apply
To allow for both the ISSC and USCIS processing times, we recommend applying for OPT at least 100 days prior to your program completion date. Please be advised that USCIS is currently experiencing longer than normal processing times.
USCIS is raising the OPT application fee to $550 for applications postmarked on or after Oct. 2, 2020. The ISSC will produce OPT recommended I-20s as early as Sept. 15, 2020, on a first come, first served basis. There will be time for you to submit your application before the fee increases if you apply early.
You are invited to attend one of our upcoming OPT information webinars to learn about the application process. Take a look at the schedule of fall OPT information sessions for more options.
Fall OPT information sessions
Please contact the ISSC with any questions about your OPT application at 480-727-4776 or firstname.lastname@example.org.