Optional Practical Training (OPT)

Optional Practical Training (OPT)


Optional Practical Training (OPT) is a benefit available to those in F-1 student status. It is 12 months of work authorization granted by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) to F-1 students for the purpose of gaining practical experience directly related to their program of study. The ISSI first recommends OPT and the student then applies to USCIS for work authorization. Pre-Completion OPT is an option for full-time F-1 students, while Post-Completion OPT takes place after a student’s program completion date (the end of the program of study, not necessarily the date of graduation).

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