F-1 Optional Practical Training (OPT)
Optional Practical Training (OPT) is work authorization available to international students who have been in valid F-1 status for at least two consecutive semesters and who plan to seek employment in the U.S. in their field of study.
Extensions of OPT
A cap-gap extension extends an eligible F-1 student's status between the end of F-1 status and start of H-1B status, thereby allowing the student to remain in the U.S. during the "gap."
Students who have received a U.S. Bachelor’s, Master’s, and Doctoral degrees in certain STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) fields, are eligible for a one-time, 17-month extension of post-completion OPT (for a total eligibility of up to 29 months). See our web pages on the 17-month Extension for more information.