F-1 off-campus employment after academic program

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Special Notice

Special Note: USCIS is making great efforts to assist students during COVID-19. Visit our main employment web page for the latest USCIS updates.


Post-OPT is a work benefit opportunity to gain off-campus work experience and is requested to be used after the completion of a degree program.

Learn more about Post-OPT


The 24-Month STEM OPT Extension is an additional benefit from United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) that allows international students in F-1 status who receive a bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degree in an approved STEM field to apply for a 24-month extension of their standard 12-month Post-OPT period, twice in a lifetime. This allows international students the opportunity to gain additional off-campus work experience in their field of study after completion of course studies and Post-OPT.

Learn more 24-Month STEM OPT Extension


F-1 students who seek to change to H-1B status starting October 1 may be eligible for a cap-gap extension of status and employment authorization through June 1 or September 30 depending on the H-1B filling status at the time the employer filed for H-1B. Cap-Gap is not available for F-1 students whose H-1B application is Consular Processing or Cap Exempt.

Learn more about Cap-Gap/H1-B