Post-Completion Optional Practical Training (OPT)

Post-Completion Optional Practical Training (OPT)

An international student may request OPT Employment Authorization during the last semester of his/her education. Application for OPT is made to USCIS. The process takes approximately 90 days to be processed and costs $410 (fees are subject to change without notice). An international student who begins the process at the beginning of his/her last semester will most likely receive employment authorization to begin working as soon as the semester is completed.

To Request OPT authorization:

  • An international student may request OPT authorization 90 days prior to the completion of his/her program. (An international student should not apply more than 90 days prior to the end of his/her program).

  • An international student must apply and be approved for graduation pending successful completion of remaining courses.  The OPT form will have to be signed by the international student’s full-time Academic Advisor

  • Instructions on how to apply for OPT are available in the ISO.  Please refer to those instructions.

  • An international student who completes the process and receives the Employment Authorization Document (EAD) card, but does not successfully complete the degree requirements, will only be able to work OPT part-time and must return to school to complete the course work for graduation.

  • An international student may apply for OPT up to 60 days after completion of his/her program but not more than 90 days prior to completion.

After OPT Employment Authorization is granted:

  • An international student must present their EAD Card to the ISO.  A new I-20 will be printed with OPT Approved

  • An international student must report employment information through the SEVP Portal.

  • During OPT an international student must report any changes in name or address to the ISO within 10 days.

Effective since