Post-completion Optional Practical Training (OPT) is available for F-1 students who are about to graduate/graduated and have secured or are in the process of securing a full-time work opportunity and wish to remain in the U.S. In order to secure optional practical training (OPT) a student must find and secure an employment opportunity, complete a required form and follow an application process. An initial period of 12 months may be awarded by Immigration (USCIS) per degree level. OPT requires that you pursue employment in your area of study, but does not require a specific employer at the time of filing.
To apply for OPT you must first obtain a new I-20 from an SCNM DSO documenting your eligibility for OPT. You will subsequently submit a paper-based application for employment authorization to the U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Service (USCIS). You must be in lawful F-1 status at the time of filing, and your period of OPT may commence only immediately following at least two full and continuous quarters of enrollment.
Applications for post-completion OPT must be filed and reach USCIS:
NOTE: If you have not completed all coursework for your degree and are unsure that you will complete your degree on time, you should consult your SCNM DSO before submitting the application for OPT.
Students may request OPT to begin on any date from the day after the date of completion of studies up to 60 days after the date of completion of study. Applications for OPT can take three months or more for the USCIS to adjudicate so it is very important to plan accordingly.
Students may not begin working until they have received a valid OPT employment authorization card (EAD) issued by the USCIS and the start date has been reached.
Step Two: Bring printed Form 1-765 along with supporting materials (if available) to an SCNM DSO. Do not submit to our office earlier than the 90 days prior to the end of your I-20.
Step Three: : DSO will review all materials and endorse. Pick up the endorsed Forms I-20 and Form I-765 from the SCNM DSO, and follow the OPT USCIS Filing Instructions. The OPT I-20 and full application must be in the hands of Immigration no later than 30 days after the OPT I-20's issue date. Do not E-File your application.
Step Four (optional): Complete Form G-1145, E-Notification of Application/Petition Acceptance, if you wish to receive email and/or text messages when your application has been received. NOTE: USCIS will continue to mail the receipt notices to you. Completion and submission of this form for email and/or text message notification is an option for you and not a required form.
While on OPT, students will must report address, phone number and employment information to their DSO. Coming soon: Students will be able to report address, phone number and employment information themselves directly through the SEVP Portal.
For more information, please contact the SCNM Dean of Student’s Office.