Optional Practical Training, an employment benefit offered through U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, 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 eligible and interested in applying for Post-OPT work authorization are encouraged to apply early. The earliest the International Students and Scholars Center will accept applications is Sept. 3, 2022.
Application completion dates
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.
- 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. 12, 2022.
- 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.
Apply for Post-OPT
Be advised that USCIS processing times generally increase with applications submitted in late September, October, November and December. The ISSC will produce OPT-recommended I-20s as early as Sept. 13, 2022, on a first-come, first-served basis.
We invite you to attend one of our upcoming OPT information webinars this fall to learn more about the application process.
Monday, Aug. 29, 4–4:30 p.m.
Post-OPT: Eligibility for off-campus work after graduation (Non-thesis/Dissertation)
Thursday, Sept. 1, 4–4:30 p.m.
Post-OPT: Eligibility for off-campus work after graduation (Thesis/Dissertation)
Monday, Sept. 12, 4–4:30 p.m.
Post-OPT Application Process