Post-completion OPT

Post-completion OPT (Optional Practical Training) allows you to receive up to 12-months of employment authorization for work related to your program of study, after completion of your program.

Basic Rules and Restrictions

  • Eligibility is limited to F-1 students who have completed one academic year of continuous full-time enrollment in their program of study.
  • Must be employed full-time (20 hours/week or more).
  • Must report your employment to SEVP after your start date of OPT authorization.
  • Employment must be related to your program of study.

Application Timeline

  • Eligible to apply 90 days before your program end date (the final day of exams for your graduating quarter).
  • Request an OPT recommendation (a new I-20). The OPT request takes roughly 3 – 5 days.
  • Use your OPT recommendation to file an I-765 (using category C3B) with USCIS.
  • Receiving approval from USCIS takes roughly 90 days.
  • After receiving approval, you will be sent an Employment Authorization Document via USPS. This can take 1 – 2 weeks.

Eligible employment

  • Regular paid employment.
  • Internships.
  • Volunteers or unpaid opportunities.
  • Self-employment.
  • Employment through an agency.
  • Work for hire.

Ineligible Employment

  • Anything unrelated to your program of study.


See our Post-completion OPT application page for details on every step of the application.

Requirements & FAQ

See our Post-completion OPT Requirements & FAQ page for everything you must know while on Post-completion OPT.