Who is Eligible for Optional Practical Training Application (OPT)?
- Students who have maintained F-1 status for at least nine months of full-time study and have completed their program are eligible for authorization for up to 12 months of Optional Practical Training (OPT) in their major field of study.
- A student is eligible for only 12 months of OPT for each level they have completed. (i.e., one year for Undergraduate, one year for Masters and one year for a Doctorate program)
- Students enrolled in the Intensive English Language Program are not eligible.
- Students in qualified STEM programs can apply for a 24-month extension in addition to the 12 months of OPT at the end of the approved post-completion OPT.
Steps to Apply for OPT
- Complete and Print Out the I-765 form
- Decide your Start Date for OPT
- Meet with the Assistant Director of Immigration
- Mail application packet to USCIS
What to Bring to the OPT Appointment Checklist
How to Complete the I-765 Form
Once all documents are compiled and complete, please call the Office of International Admissions and Immigration Services at 419-434-4558 to set an appointment time to meet with the Assistant Director of Immigration.
- Click the button below to access the I-765 guidelines for OPT and STEM OPT application so that you complete the I-765 correctly.
Click the button below to access
the I-765 form.I-765 Form
- Print out the completed I-765 form and sign.
- Please wait to sign and date the I-765 form that day of the appointment. Once all documents are compiled and complete, please call the Office of International Admissions at 419-434-4558 to set an appointment time to meet with the Assistant Director of Immigration.
How to Decide Your OPT Start Date
- Determine the last day of your program. This is the last day of classes for your last semester. It is NOT the graduation date.
- You can choose any day, within 60 days from the last day of your program to start OPT.
Example: John's last day of his program for the Spring is April 26. John can choose any day to start the OPT within 60 days of April 26. He can choose a date between April 27 - June 26. He chooses May 25 as his start date to begin OPT.
Remember it can take 3-5 months to be approved for OPT after you mail in your application. You cannot start OPT until you have your EAD card. If you are applying for OPT late in your semester you will want to allow time for the OPT to be processed in choosing your start date.
Example: John will mail his OPT application on March 20. March 20 to April 26 is a little over one month. April 27 to May 25 (his chosen start date) is about one month. This gives his application two months to be approved. If his card comes after May 25 he will have to wait until it arrives to start working. To be completely safe John could choose the start date June 19 which is a full three months after he mails in his application.
OPT Mailing Instructions
Application packet mailing instructions will be given to you when you meet with the Assistant Director of Immigration.