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-Completion OPT work authorization should apply early. The earliest the ISSC will accept applications is Aug. 29.Application completion dates The completion of studies date for undergraduate students is the last day of classes or, in most cases, the date of graduation. The fall graduation date is Dec. 10, 2018.The completion of studies 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.The USCIS does not require proof of employment with your application for post-OPT. I want to apply →To allow for both the 10-day ISSC processing time and 90-day USCIS processing time, we recommend applying for OPT at least 100 days prior to your program completion date so you can receive your Employment Authorization Document card before completing your program.USCIS will deny applications received prior to 90 days before your program completion date. Therefore if your program completion date is Dec. 10, you will receive a notification to pick up your new I-20 after Sept. 10.Please contact the us with any questions about your OPT application at 480-727-4776 or firstname.lastname@example.org.