Optional Practical Training (OPT)

A student may apply to the USCIS for authorization for temporary employment for optional practical training directly related to the student’s major area of study.

OPT is a benefit of F-1 visa. A F-1 visa holder is eligible for 12 months of OPT after graduation


Preliminary Requirements

  • Apply for graduation at the Registrar's Office.
  • Present the endorsed Registrar's receipt to our office in order to obtain the application package.

NOTE: You can apply for practical training ONLY 120 days before the Semester Ends. The Semester End Date is also the last day when you can apply for OPT!

OPT Process

The following documents are needed by the DSO to process an application for optional practical training:

  • Completed form I-765
  • Registrar's receipt proving application status for graduation

What should your OPT start date be? That depends on your future plans. Optional Practical Training must begin no later than 60 days following your semester end date.

A student in F-1 status may apply up to 90 days before the completion date or semester end date and up to 60 days after their completion date.  Students MUST apply within 30 days of the creation of the OPT I-20 with OPT recommendation.  Program completion refers to the date that you have finished all coursework and any project for your degree. It is not your graduation date. There is no grace period for applying for OPT.

Employment and Unemployment

An offer of employment is not required to obtain approval for OPT. OPT is recommended by the International Student Advisor (DSO), and authorized by the USCIS.  During OPT student may no be unemployed for an aggregate of more than 90 days* or their status will be put in jeopardy.

Students are required to report to the DSO within 10 days:

  • The beginning of employment, with the name and address of the employer.
  • The termination of employment.
  • Any change in your personal address.
  • Any change in your employers Address.

Studying while on OPT:

Authorization for OPT is automatically terminated when you transfer your SEVIS record to another school or begin full-time study at a different educational level.

Need more info about admissions? Call (718) 319-7900 or Send us an e-mail