Optional Practical Training (OPT)

Optional Practical Training (OPT) is temporary employment that is directly related to an F-1 student’s major area of study, which gives F-1 students an opportunity to apply knowledge gained in the classroom to a practical work experience off campus. Eligible students can apply to receive up to 12 months of OPT employment authorization before completing their academic studies (pre-completion) and/or after completing their academic studies (post-completion). The maximum amount of time granted to work on F-1 OPT status is 12 months per degree level. You may use some or all of the available 12 months of practical training during your course of study or save the full 12 months to use after you complete your studies. However, all periods of pre-completion OPT will be deducted from the available period of post-completion OPT.