Optional Practical Training

Optional Practical Training (OPT) is defined by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) as a practical work experience for students in valid F1 visa status that is directly related to your degree program, commensurate with your degree level and is intended to enhance and supplement the formal, classroom education. These opportunities take place off-campus. Students can use OPT during their degree program (pre-completion OPT) or after graduation (post-completion OPT). Some majors are also eligible for a STEM Extension after graduation. 

Applying for OPT requires students to work with their academic advisors, Davis IC advisors, and make an application to the US Government. OPT approval timelines can be long, so the earlier you start thinking about an OPT application the better. Do not hesitate to talk with your International Student Advisor as you consider opportunities off campus. Applying for OPT directly with USCIS before having an updated I-20 with OPT recommendation from Davis IC will cause your application to be denied. 


Related Links

Printable Optional Practical Training Online Checklist
Printable Optional Practical Training Mail-In Checklist
Optional Practical Training Advisor Recommendation