This page will give you lots of basic information about the OPT Application Process. If you cannot find the answer to your question, you can send an email email@example.com.
Optional Practical Training (OPT) is a 12-month work authorization available to F1 students who want to work in the United States.
OPT Workshop Powerpoint
Please click on the link below to download our voiced-over OPT Workshop powerpoint presentation.
When Should I Apply for OPT?
How to Apply for OPT
Our office will review your application and make corrections if necessary. After the review process, we will then issue an OPT recommendation I-20 with the start date that you chose.
The review process can take up to 7 business days. Make sure you plan for this processing time.
Submitting your Documents to USCIS
Once you have received your I20, you need to create your online account and file online at https://myaccount.uscis.gov/ You need to do this within 30 days of the recommendation I20 being created. Do NOT create the account before you receive your recommendation I20.
You need to include the following documents in your OPT application package:
- I-765 Application – Make sure you sign and date it
- $410 fee payment by
- Two passport type photos taken within 30 days of filing the application that meet the requirements on the Department of State website. Write your name and I-94 number lightly on the back of each photo.
- Copy of your I-94.
- Photocopy of the identification page(s) of your passport, including photo and expiration date.
- Photocopy of your current visa.
- Copy of your OPT Recommendation I-20 (signed)- DO NOT SEND ORIGINAL!
- Photocopy of student data pages of all your previous I-20s. DO NOT SEND ORIGINALS!
- If you have had OPT before, photocopy of your previous EAD card (both sides).
After applying for OPT
Employment and Periods of Unemployment
Nearing the End of OPT
F1 students have a 60 day grace period after their OPT End Date to leave the US, transfer, or do a change of status.
Insurance while on OPT
You will not be eligible for the same insurance plan you had while you were a student, but Lewermark provides different private options for previous students. Please follow the link below to learn more about insurance options through Lewermark:
F1 students that graduate with a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematic) degree can apply for a one-time 24-month extension. For more information, visit our OPT extension page.