Main Content

OPT Requirements

All students applying for OPT this semester MUST come in with a completed application.

Graduating students have to apply for OPT three months before the completion of their program or within 60 days after the completion of their program at SCSU;

OPT applications mailed more than three months before program end date will be denied;

Please be aware that it takes approximately about three months for USCIS to process an OPT application;

It is illegal to begin employment before you receive the Employment Authorization Document (EAD);

You are only permitted to work within the dates specified.

Optional Practical Training Work Authorization Information

Steps Involved in applying for OPT:

1) OPT Release Form signed by your Academic Advisor.

2) Select tentative OPT start date which must be within 60 days of your program end date.

3) Print and complete the required Form I-765 (www.uscis.gov/i-765) (Only Questions 1-16 apply).

Check the box: permission to accept employment.
Question 3: Make sure that your address is valid for the next 120 days. Your receipt notice and Employment Authorization Card will be mailed to this address by USCIS). Note: By law, mail from USCIS will not be forwarded by United States Postal Service; if you move and do not call USCIS to change your address, your mail from USCIS will be returned to USCIS and not forwarded. However, if you relocate, call the USCIS National Customer Service at 1-800-375-5283 to change your address.
Question 10: Is the number on your I-94 (little white card in your passport).
Question 16: Post completion OPT, then use eligibility code c) (3) (B).
Question 17: Leave blank.
Sign I-765 form.

4) Make legible copies of:

Passport pages
Admission Stamp
Visa page
Front and back of I-20
Copies of all previous I-20s from all schools
Copy of previously issued Employment Authorization Documents

5) Two recent passport pictures. (http://travel.state.gov/passport/guide/composition/composition_874.html)

6) A check or money order for $380 payable to US Department of Homeland Security. Note: Starter checks are not acceptable.

7) Keep a copy of all documents submitted to USCIS.