OPT Application Process

Post-completion OPT applications may be filed up to 90 days before the completion of studies, and up to 60 days after the completion of studies. Pre-completion OPT applications may be filed up to 90 days prior to the completion of one full academic year.

1. Register for an OPT Workshop (REQUIRED)

OPT Workshops are offered regularly each semester. Attend an OPT workshop in your last semester, about three months prior to your anticipated employment start date. During the workshop an International Student Advisor (ISA) will answer questions and review your OPT application. If you have questions about OPT or the workshop, speak with an ISA or email ISSS.

Register for an OPT Workshop »

2. Prepare for the OPT Workshop

Once you have registered, you will receive an email notification confirming the date and time of the workshop. Before the workshop, you must complete and sign the following forms:

You must also assemble the following documents and bring them to the OPT Workshop:

  • Copy of all previously issued Form I-20s (pages 1 & 3); include Form I-20s issued by another U.S. school (if applicable)
  • Copy of I-94 (arrival/departure record), printed from www.cbp.gov/I94
  • Copy of F-1 visa (or approval notice for change of status to F-1)
  • Copy of passport page(s) which show your photo, full name and passport expiration date
  • Two properly formatted USCIS photographs » (write your name and SEVIS ID# lightly on the back of each photo)
  • Personal check or money order made out to U.S. Department of Homeland Security for $380. Write your name and SEVIS ID# in the memo section. Do not write on the back of the check.
  • Copy of any previously issued EAD (if you have been were approved for OPT in the past)

You must also decide the start date of your OPT.

  • This date may be as early as the day after your program end date or as late as sixty days after your program end date. 

3. Attend the OPT Workshop for which you registered

Arrive to the Glavin Office ten minutes prior to the workshop start time with all the documents listed above. If you arrive late or unprepared for the workshop, or did not register in advance, you may not be able to participate and will need to sign up for a future OPT Workshop.

If unable to attend the OPT Workshop you registered for, email International Student and Scholar Services to reschedule.

4. Meet with an International Student Advisor to review your OPT application

Assuming you brought all OPT application materials to the OPT Workshop, a new Form I-20 with OPT recommendation will be created within two business days following the workshop. You must meet with an International Student Advisor (ISA) during Walk-In Hours or in a scheduled appointment to sign your new Form I-20.  The new Form I-20 should be used for future international travel; however, you must still keep all Form I-20s that were previously issued for your personal records.

5. Mail your completed application to USCIS