This page provides information about Optional Practical Training (OPT). Please click on the links below to view information about OPT application processes and requirements.
OPT is temporary employment authorization granted by the Department of Homeland Security to F-1 students. F-1 students may use OPT to participate in employment related to their degree following graduation.
F-1 students who receive science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) degrees included on the STEM Designated Degree Program List, are employed by employers enrolled in E-Verify, and who have received an initial grant of post-completion OPT related to such a degree, may apply for a 17-month extension.
While on OPT you are still legally required to report certain information to ISSS. Changes to any of the following must be reported within 10 days of certain events.
Current regulations allow certain students with pending or approved H-1B petitions to remain in F-1 status during the period of time when an F-1 student’s status and work authorization would otherwise expire through the start date of their approved H-1B employment period. This is referred to as filling the “cap-gap,” meaning the regulations provide a way of filling the “gap” between the end of F-1 status and the beginning of H-1B status that might otherwise occur if F-1 status is not extended for qualifying students.