Optional Practical Training (OPT)

Optional Practical Training (OPT) is temporary employment that is directly related to an F-1 student's final program of study. Eligible students can apply to receive up to 12 months of OPT employment authorization after completing their academic studies (post-completion). OPT is authorized by USCIS (U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services) and allows students to gain practical work experience while expanding and enhancing their business experience anywhere in the U.S. Apply for OPT early in your final quarter of academic study. Our immigration advising team offers regular information sessions that include details on application procedures, advising, deadlines, and USCIS requirements.

Program Benefits

  • Acquire skill sets vital to your career path
  • Continue to use and refine your English skills
  • Seek an opportunity for full-time employment
  • Enjoy financial rewards
  • Network with local employers and professionals
  • Work anywhere in the United States
  • Enrich future training in graduate or professional school experience (e.g., MBA)

Eligibility and Requirements

Students are eligible to apply for OPT after 1 year (3 quarters) of consecutive full-time study, which can be met by completing one of the following pathways: 3 ACPs or 2 ACPs + 1 Internship. The internship may only be completed in the final quarter of study.

OPT must be directly related to the student's final program of study. For example, if the student's final program of study in an Accelerated Certificate Program (ACP) + Internship is Business Administration, the student must find employment directly related to Business Administration. The student must be able to explain in writing and in person (verbally) how the concepts, theories, and skills they learned in final program of study directly relate to their OPT employment. Students should keep this in mind when selecting their ACP enrollment pathway.

If authorized for post-completion OPT, students must work part-time (at least 20 hours per week) or full time.

For more information, please contact us.

Have Questions?

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Call: (949) 824-5414
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