Graduate students with F-1 status who have completed or have been pursuing their degrees for more than nine months are permitted by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to work for at most one year on a student visa towards getting practical training to complement their field of studies.
Optional Practical Training is temporary employment that is directly related to an F-1 student’s major area of study. An F-1 student can be authorized to receive up to a total of 12 months of practical training either before (pre-) and/or after (post-) completion of studies.
- Pre-completion OPT : An F-1 student may be authorized to participate in pre-completion OPT after he or she has been enrolled for one full academic year. The pre-completion OPT must be directly related to the student’s major area of study. Students authorized to participate in pre-completion OPT must work part-time while school is in session. They may work full time when school is not in session.
- Post-completion OPT : An F-1 student may be authorized to participate in post-completion OPT upon completion of studies. The post-completion OPT must be directly related to the student’s major area of study.
- Students applying for OPT must be approved by the DSO. The documents below are required in the application process.
- International Student OPT Guide
- Application for OPT
Mail completed packet to USCIS using the following address:
P. O. Box 660867
Dallas, TX 75266