F-1 Optional Practical Training (OPT)
Optional Practical Training (OPT) is work authorization available to F-1 international students who have been full time students for at least two consecutive semesters and who plan to seek employment in the U.S. in their fields of study.
- Application Guide & Instructions
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
- Address and Employer Reporting System
- Types of Qualifying Employment
- 90 Days Unemployment Rule
- Beginning a New Program of Study
- Taking Classes While on OPT
- Traveling Outside the U.S.
- Early Completion of OPT
- OPT 24-Month STEM Extension
Extensions of OPT
H-1B Visa and Cap Gap Extensions
A Cap-Gap Extension extends an eligible F-1 student's status between the end of F-1 status while on OPT and start of H-1B status. This allows the student to remain in the U.S. during the "gap."
24-Month STEM Extensions
Students who have received a U.S. Bachelor’s, Master’s, and Doctoral degree in a STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) fields may be eligible to apply for a 24 Month STEM Extension of post-completion OPT (for a total eligibility of up to 36 months of OPT). Additional information for students and employers can also be found on the DHS Study in the States OPT STEM Hub.