This page discuss the 12-month OPT work authorization. For information about the 24-month STEM extension of OPT, click here or select STEM OPT Extension on the side navigation to the left (not available on mobile).
F-1 Students can use Optional Practical Training (OPT) to work after graduation. This is a benefit of F-1 status that allows you to work for up to 12 months. Even if you don’t have a job offer yet, you can still apply for OPT. You may only work within the dates on your OPT EAD card.
The two most common types of OPT are:
- 12-month OPT based on Graduation: Apply for this type if you plan to graduate this semester and want to start working after graduation
- 12-month OPT based on Completion of Coursework: Apply for this if you're a thesis or dissertation student and want to start OPT before you graduate.
- You must have an updated degree plan that shows you have enough credits to graduate.
- You must have a defense date set (it is okay if this date changes later).