Post Completion Optional Practical Training (OPT) may be authorized for an F-1 student who has lawfully enrolled in an academic program on a full-time basis for one full academic year, after the completion of the degree or after completion of all course requirements for the degree (excluding thesis or equivalent). Post Completion OPT is OPT authorized for employment after a student’s program end date on their Form I-20.
See the OPT General Information packet for specific details.
OPT Application Procedure
Click on the title of each step below to show the instructions for that step
Start OPT Online Application
You can start the application and finish it at any time. Your progress is saved. To return to a started application, log in to the My OIA
website and click on the "Optional Practical Training" link under the "Records" heading.
Once your online application is submitted, make an appointment with an OGE advisor (visit the appointment scheduling page here
When you come for your appointment, be sure to bring the following materials with you:
- Two photos meeting U.S. Department of State specifications for passports (view specifications here).
- Check or money order for $410 payable to The Department of Homeland Security OR completed Form G-1450 (download blank copy here) if you wish to pay your filing fee by credit card (money order option is recommended)
- OPTIONAL: Completed Form G-1145 (download blank copy here) if you would like to receive an electronic notification when USCIS accepts your application (note: this provides a notification that USCIS received your application; you will be able to track your case with your receipt number from there)
- Completed but unsigned and undated Form I-765 (download blank copy here - DO NOT SIGN OR DATE)
Photocopies (not originals) of any previous I-20 you have had for CPT or OPT authorization (page 2 of the I-20 shows CPT and OPT authorization); old I-20s that do not include CPT or OPT authorization are not required
- For Page 3, Part 2, Item 27, enter (c)(3)(B) (note: lowercase c, uppercase B)
- If you have been issued an I-20 with a different SEVIS ID in the past, either with CMU or another U.S. institution, you should explain that on page 7. This is not common. If yes, enter Page Number 3, Part Number 2, Item Number 26 into the first available item. Then, list all previous SEVIS ID numbers you have had.
- If you have ever been authorized for CPT or OPT in the past, regardless of level, school, or program, you should explain that on page 7. To do so, enter Page Number 3, Part Number 2, Item Number 27 into the first available item. You should indicate which practical training you were previously authorized for, at what level (bachelors, masters, doctoral), whether it was full time or part time, and your start and end dates (remember American date format: mm/dd/yy or use long form to avoid confusion [e.g. July 1, 2018]).
Photocopy of passport information pages
Photocopy of visa in passport
Copy of your most recent Form I-94 (download here or, if applicable, make a copy of the I-94 card in your passport or Form I-797A if you were approved for a change of status after your most recent entry to the United States).
IMPORTANT: Print all documents single sided and DO NOT STAPLE.
After reviewing the materials in steps 1 and 2 and confirming eligibility for post completion OPT, your OIA advisor will recommend you for OPT and issue you a new I-20 with an OPT recommendation. Pay close attention to the date under the advisor signature on your new I-20. You are required to mail your materials to USCIS within 30 days of this signature. Failure to do so could result in denial of your OPT request.
Use the following address to mail your materials to USCIS:If sending by United States Postal Service:
P.O. Box 21281
Mail the following materials in this order. DO NOT STAPLE!
Phoenix, AZ 85036
If sending by UPS, FedEx, or DHL:
Attn: NFB AOS
1820 E. Skyharbor Circle S
Phoenix, AZ 85034
- Two photos meeting USCIS specifications.
- Check or money order for $410 payable to The Department of Homeland Security OR completed Form G-1450 if you wish to pay your filing fee by credit card (money order option is recommended)
- OPTIONAL: Completed Form G-1145 if you would like to receive an electronic notification when USCIS accepts your application.
- Original Form I-765.
- Original I-20 with OPT recommendation.
- Photocopies of all I-20s showing CPT or OPT authorization if previously authorized.
- Photocopy of Form I-94.
- Photocopy of information pages of passport and visa page.
Please note that the OPT application packet must be received by USCIS within 30 days of the OPT request.
Once an application packet has been received by USCIS, it may take up to 90 days to complete processing. Student’s are not allowed to begin employment until they receive the EAD in the mail. Please allow sufficient time for processing.