Optional Practical Training (OPT) is a 12-month work authorization that allows F-1 students to gain additional work experience after graduation in their field of study. You can work anywhere in the US on OPT, so long as the employment is directly related to your field of study.
You can learn more about OPT by attending an OPT Informational Workshop. Attending an informational workshop is a requirement before you can apply for OPT.
You cannot apply for OPT without receiving an updated I-20 that has an OPT recommendation and your requested OPT start date. Do not submit an OPT application to USCIS without the OPT recommendation I-20.
Upcoming OPT Workshop Dates & Registration
We recommend that you apply as early as possible because it can take 3-4 months for an OPT application to be approved by USCIS. You do not need a job offer to apply for OPT. You can apply as early as 90 days before you complete your program and up to 60 days after you complete your program.