Optional Practical Training FAQs

Optional Practical Training FAQs

Students are eligible for one 12 month period of OPT for each successively achieved a higher level of study (12 months after a bachelor’s, 12 months after a master’s program, and 12 months after a Ph.D. program). Students may engage in OPT only during the authorized periods as reflected on their EAD. OPT is canceled if and when a student changes status or transfers to another school. Students may work for more than one employer or may change employers without prior approval but must update changes in their address and their employment information with OIS. Students on OPT should not be enrolled in a full-time or degree study program and long periods of unemployment may result in termination of status.

In order to accept salary or wage payment from U.S.-based source, it is necessary to obtain a Social Security Number.

Additional information about OPT is provided on this website, as well as on several government websites. Students who have further questions or circumstances that may be unusual should make an appointment to speak with an OIS advisor. Students may also contact USCIS directly to ask questions regarding pending applications.

Types of Employment


The Application Process

OPT Processing and Approval

Maintaining Status During OPT