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Post Optional Practical Training

OPTAs an F-1 student, you have the exciting opportunity to gain valuable practical experience in your major field of study through Optional Practical Training (OPT). Your F-1 student status allows you up to 12 months of off-campus employment authorization for each advanced level of higher education completed.

Post OPT is available after completion of your degree program. You have the option to apply for Post-completion OPT as early as 90 days before your program completion and up to 60 days after the completion of your program. It's important to note that your application must be receipted by the 60th day of your grace period.

How to apply for Post OPT

1)  Request for an I-20 with OPT recommendation:   Submit your OPT I-20 request at the link below. 
  • Ensure you have your academic advisor's contact information ready as you initiate your OPT request. Once inputted, your academic advisor will log in to confirm the last day of your program.
  • You must also specify an "OPT Request Date," which can be any day within the 60-day grace period following the last day of your program.
2)  Prepare Your Application: Complete Form I-765, "Application for Employment Authorization," and gather the required supporting documents.
3)  Submit to USCIS: Send your application and documents to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) for processing.
4)  Receive Authorization: Once approved, USCIS will send you an I-797 approval notice along with your Employment Authorization (EAD) card.  Once you have received your EAD card and the start date has commenced, you can begin working!  


    Start your Post OPT Form I-20 request

Upon approval for employment through OPT and upon receipt of your EAD card, you gain eligibility to commence working. Once employed, it is imperative to promptly report the required information to the U.S. government to uphold your lawful status in the United States.

OPT Reporting Requirements

1)  Set up SEVP Portal Account.

  • Check your email within the first week of your OPT start date for instructions from SEVP.

  • Follow the provided instructions to set up your SEVP Portal Account.  Please note: this email will come directly from SEVP.

2)  Report Direct Relationship Statement.

3)  Enter Employer Details on SEVP Portal.

  • Log into your SEVP Portal within 10 days of your employment start date.

  • Include the statement: “Direct Relationship Statement under review by DSO” in the job duties description box.

4)  After approval of your Direct Relationship Statement:

  • Log into your SEVP Portal account.

  • Copy & paste the approved statement in the designated section for accurate record-keeping and compliance.

  • Optional: Request an I-20 reprint if needed.

5)  Pay OPT Service Fee:

  • Upload a copy of OPT Service Fee payment confirmation to your ISP account. 

  • The OPT Service Fee is an annual payment made to the University, designed to cover the essential maintenance of the student's SEVIS record during the Optional Practical Training (OPT) period. This fee includes support for any post-completion requests or advisement sought within the 12-month OPT duration. By paying this fee, students contribute to the university's ability to provide comprehensive assistance and ensure compliance with SEVIS regulations throughout their OPT experience. Current fee is $500. Due upon initial OPT reporting.

  payment 1

OPT SERVICE Fee: Your fee will be valid for one year after payment has been received and posted to your account.  After you receive your payment confirmation, please upload a copy of the confirmation ► here

You must report changes in employment, residential address, phone number, email, or legal name within 10 business days of the change. Failure to report these changes will lead to the termination of your OPT and F-1 status by SEVIS.


Additional Services Available to Students on Post OPT
Cap-Gap - use this link to request a Cap-Gap I-20
Students with pending or approved cap-subject H-1B petitions can stay in F-1 status during the cap-gap period. Timely filed H-1B petitions for a change of status to H-1B on Oct. 1 qualify for a cap-gap extension. Stay in touch with your employer for H-1B petition updates during this extension.

Transferring Out - use this link to request a transfer to another F-1 SEVIS-certified school.
24-month STEM OPT - use this link to apply for an extension of your Post-OPT.  
F-1 students who receive science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) degrees may apply for a 24-month extension of their post-completion optional practical training (OPT) and work for an employer who is enrolled in E-Verify. 
Are you eligible: Eligibility for the STEM OPT Extension