Post Completion OPT
Working on Campus After Graduation
F-1 students may ONLY work on campus after their program end date (graduation) with authorization for post-completion OPT (Optional Practical Training). The on-campus work must meet the requirements for OPT, described below. Students should inform potential supervisors of their status and provide them with evidence of OPT authorization.
Post-Completion Optional Practical Training
Students should familiarize themselves with the OPT Application Process. They MUST consult with the International Student Director PRIOR to applying for OPT and submit the completed OPT Intent Form as well as the Acknowledgement Form. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) provides a comprehensive website on the OPT application process. Alumni seeking to apply for a STEM extension should submit the Request Form along with their completed Form I-983 to the Director.
Post-completion OPT for up to twelve months is available to all F-1 students who have been in lawful status as a full-time student for at least one full academic year prior to their application. For those who have used OPT prior to graduation, that time will be deducted from the twelve-month allocation. Practical training must begin no later than 60-days after a student's academic program completion date. At the conclusion of their post-completion OPT, students are entitled to a 60-day grace period. TRAVEL OUTSIDE THE US AFTER GRADUATION WHILE THE OPT APPLICATION IS PENDING IS NOT ADVISABLE.
- Employment must be directly related to the student's field of study and commensurate with their educational level
- Students may not accrue more than 90-days of aggregate unemployment
- Students may only work during the authorized dates specified on the EAD (Employment Authorization Document) card
- Students must comply with reporting requirements to maintain valid F-1 status.
Approval of OPT can take as much as 90-days, and students may apply for post-completion OPT up to 90 days in advance of their academic program (graduation) date. Graduates may also apply during their grace period, but their application must be received prior to the conclusion of the 60-days. STUDENTS MUST BE IN THE U.S. WHEN THEY APPLY DURING THE GRACE PERIOD. Students who leave the country during the grace period lose their F-1 status. OPT applicants may not begin working until they have RECEIVED their EAD card, so submitting a timely application is highly recommended.
The online application includes:
- Completing the I-765 form
- Uploading copies of all prior CPT I-20s
- Uploading a newly created, OPT-authorization I-20 (issued by the international student director)
- Uploading a copy of the passport information page
- Uploading a copy of the applicant’s most recent I-94
- Uploading a passport-style/sized photo
- Payment of the $410 fee with a credit or debit card
A comprehensive review of the online application takes place before its submission during the student and director meeting to finalize things.
International Student Services receives updates about students’ applications and notifies them as to where things stand throughout the process. This includes the receipt and distribution of applicants’ EAD cards.
Reporting Requirements During Post-Completion OPT
Within 10 days, Report the Following to International Students Services:
- Change of name
- Change of address (residential or mailing)
- Change of employer
- Change of employer contact information
- Termination of employment