Optional Practical Training (OPT) allows F-1 students to obtain employment in areas related to their academic major and degree level. Twelve months of OPT is available at each degree level.
NOTE: If you have used more than 12 months of full-time Curricular Practical Training (CPT), you are not eligible to apply for OPT.
Post-Completion OPT Eligibility Requirements
- Occurs after completion of all degree coursework requirements, excluding thesis or equivalent; or, occurs after completion of degree.
- The proposed employment must be directly related to your field of study/primary major and commensurate to your degree level.
- You may not accrue more than 90 days of unemployment.
Students enrolled in English language training or Certificate programs are not eligible for OPT.
Travel Outside the U.S.
An F-1 student with an unexpired EAD issued for Post-Completion OPT and who is otherwise admissible may re-enter the U.S. to resume employment after a temporary absence. The EAD must be shown in combination with a letter from the employer and an I-20 endorsed for travel and re-entry by OISS. A travel signature is valid for six months while on OPT.
Resources for Job Search
Check out GoinGlobal, which can be accessed through your Wildcat Careers account. This database can be helpful in identifying potential employers who have hired international students to work in the U.S. as well as other countries in the past.