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OPT WORKSHOP. International Office Texas State University . What is OPT?. Optical Practical Training- F1 students are entitled to 12 months of work in a position related to their major. EAD=Employment Authorization Document. Qualifications.

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opt workshop


International Office Texas State University

what is opt
What is OPT?

Optical Practical Training- F1 students are entitled to 12 months of work in a position related to their major.

EAD=Employment Authorization Document


Student must have been lawfully enrolled on a full-time basis at a DHS-approved school for one full academic year before being eligible for OPT.

Student must have maintained lawful F1 status.

three kinds of opt
Three Kinds of OPT
  • Pre-completion OPT: authorized to be worked before the student's program end date.
  • Post-completion OPT: authorized to be worked after the student's program end date.
  • The special 17-month extension of post-completion OPT for students with a science, technology, engineering, or mathematics (STEM) degree.
general information
General Information
  • Duration

Standard OPT is available for a cumulative maximum of 12 months per educational level.

A one-time extension of 17 months (for a total of 29 months) is available to certain STEM degree recipients.

  • Offer of employment

No offer of employment is required to apply for standard OPT, but the student is expected to work during the OPT EAD validity period. Students on post-completion OPT are limited to a maximum of 90 days of unemployment.

  • Field/level of work

Must be directly related to the student's course of study.

applying for opt plan ahead
Applying for OPT – Plan Ahead
  • When to Set up an Appointment to apply for Post-completion OPT:90 days before and up to 60 days after the program completion date. WE ENCOURAGE YOU TO APPLY BEFORE GRADUATION.
  • Review OPT materials and requirements.
  • Day of appointment – double check the list!
opt application
OPT Application
  • Check List -
    • Statement of Responsibility Form
    • Completion of Degree Form
    • Completed Form I-765
    • Passport, I-94 card, current I-20 and all CPT I-20s
    • Personal check payable to “Department of Homeland Security” for $380.00
    • 2 Passport Photos
form i 765
FORM I-765

#1: Name: Make sure it matches all your documents.

#3: Leave this blank and we will put a label with the International Office Address

#10, #12 & 13: You can find the information on your I-94.

#11: Only “yes” if you have had a EAD card before.

#16: Make sure you use the right code – it is in the OPT handout. (Post Completion=(c) (3) (B)

#17: Only for OPT Extensions.

don t forget
Don’t Forget!
  • Fill in ALL the information.
  • DO NOT leave any questions unanswered.

Place none OR N/A in any categories that you leave blank

  • Signature and dates required on all forms.
completion end dates
Completion End Dates
  • Last day of graduation ceremony.
  • Exceptions related to students who have only Thesis or Dissertation or Comprehensive Exams left to complete, must be determined by the Graduate College.
time allowed under opt
Time Allowed Under OPT
  • Cumulative maximum of 12 months per educational level
  • OPT done after completion of the course of study must be completed within a 14-month period following the completion of study. It is possible for you to indicate a start date for your OPT that is up to 59 days after the completion date on your I-20.
time table
Time Table

14 Months to Complete OPT

12 months of OPT


Even if you do not receive your OPT card until more than 60 days after your completion, you may not continue your 12 months of OPT more than 14 months after completion

OPT can start immediately after graduation or up to 59 days after.

travel opt
Travel & OPT

The IO does not recommend travel during OPT.

travel opt1
Travel & OPT

Can I reenter if my request for OPT is pending?

  • Yes, you may reenter to search for employment.
  • Things you need to travel: signed I-20, Valid Passport, valid Visa, a letter from your employer

Can I reenter if I left while on OPT?

  • If your OPT has been approved and you depart before you get a job, your OPT ends and you cannot reenter unless you have a written job offer.
  • If you have a job, you may travel and reenter to resume work at the same job or you have a written offer for another job.
employment under opt
Employment Under OPT
  • Either is fine:

Paid employment


(Volunteering) & Unpaid employment

how long will it take to get my opt
How long will it take to get my OPT?
  • Varies depending on USCIS workload
  • Average 3 months
  • You can check at www.uscis.gov once you receive your receipt number
i applied now what
I applied. Now what?
  • It takes about 2 – 3 weeks to receive a receipt notification from USCIS. The IO will notify you upon receipt.
  • After the receipt is received it should take no more than 90 days from the receipt date to receive your EAD card.
  • Once you get your EAD card check the start date of your OPT. You cannot start working until the start date is reached.
how to r eport employment maintain status during opt
How to Report Employment & Maintain Status During OPT
  • Report employment and address changes to the IO using an OPT Personal Information Update Form.
  • Keep a work history log for your records. Include the employer name, hours, dates, and supervisor information and ALL I-20s
where to find information
Where to Find Information
  • Check information on our web page:
    • www.international.txstate.edu
  • Pick up Forms at the International Office
applying for a stem extension
Applying for a STEM Extension

A STEM extension is applied for with the same application, I-765 and also includes a $380 fee.

3 Requirements:

You must have graduated with a STEM degree

Your employer must be E-verified

You must apply before your current OPT expires.

special note on pre completion opt
Special Note on Pre-Completion OPT

NOTE: Pre-completion OPT is subtracted from the 12 months available to you.

• Full Time: During the summer break and at other times when school is not in session if the student is currently enrolled and eligible, and intends to register for the next class session.

• Part Time: While school is in session and the student still has coursework to complete, not to exceed 20 hours per week. (OPT done part-time is subtracted from the 12 months at a rate of 50%.) Student must maintain a full course of study during the period of part‐time OPT employment.

  • Remember: There are only 12 total months of OPT available. OPT done before a degree is completed will count against the 12 month total and reduce time available after the degree is awarded.
  • Pre-completion: can apply 90 days before one academic year is completed, but cannot start working before the one academic year requirement is completed.
dividing opt between pre completion and post completion
Dividing OPT between Pre-completion and Post-completion

If you use your OPT authorization in this manner, you will have to submit another OPT application (including application fee) when you apply for the remainder of your OPT, even though you are at the same program level.