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.

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.