Applying for Optional Practical Training (OPT)

Optional Practical Training (OPT) is work authorization for F-1 students to gain knowledge in their field of study and use the skills that they have obtained through their studies at the university. OPT can be either pre-completion or post-completion, but most commonly occurs after graduation. Approval of OPT results in an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) giving students permission to work in their field of study during the allotted time of OPT.

OPT Application Packet

Complete the following documents and items before scheduling an OPT appointment with an OISS Advisor.

See Checklist for OPT for notes on each item.

Step 1: Complete OPT Seminar
Step 2: Complete online Student Request for OPT
Step 3: Get signatures on Program End Date Verification (emailed after step 2)
Step 4: Complete I-765G-1145.
Step 5: Purchase a money order for $520 (paper filing). The I-765 fee for online filing is $470.
Step 6: Get 2 travel-sized photos
Step 7: Make copies of your immigration documents if you are filing a paper-based application
Step 8: Schedule an OPT appointment by emailing
Step 9: Receive updated I-20 recommending you for OPT
Step 10: Mail application packet to USCIS