Optional Practical Training

OPT is an F-1 work authorization for off-campus employment directly related to your field of study for up to 12 months, depending on your status, academic standing, and past OPT time.

OPT Information Form

Pre-Completion vs. Post-Completion OPT

Pre-Completion - OPT that begins before you complete all required coursework for your degree (except thesis/dissertation). Part-time authorization during Fall/Spring, full time in Summer. Deducts from your Post-Completion OPT.

Post-Completion - OPT that begins after you complete all required coursework for your degree (except thesis/dissertation). Full-time authorization.

OPT Workshops

Come to an OPT Workshop to learn more about this opportunity and get your questions answered!

Session Session Date Session Details
OPT Workshop + Career Services Tuesday, September 6

3:30-5:00 PM
 SSB 331

OPT Workshop + H-1B and Beyond Wednesday, September 21

12:00-1:00 PM
SSB 331

OPT Workshop + STEM Extension Monday, October 17

10:00-11:00 AM
SSB 331

OPT Workshop + STEM Extension Tuesday, November 15

1:00-2:00 PM
SSB 331

 For questions, please contact Rebecca Kehe.

Should I attend?

What will be covered in the workshop?

What is the timeline?

After ISS processes your OPT application, you will send your application to U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS). USCIS can take up to 90 days to process your application. The entire process, including mailing time, takes approximately 3.5 months total.

It is important to apply early so you can receive your full work authorization time. Applications processed at the end of the semester will not receive a full 12 months of OPT. Apply early to avoid delays, especially if you have developing job offers.

You can choose the day your OPT will begin. It is to your advantage to apply early!

Earliest date to file OPT for Fall 2016 Graduates: September 18, 2016

Latest date to file OPT for Fall 2016 Graduates: February 15, 2017*

*If you file on this date, you risk losing days of work authorization or may miss the deadline to apply for OPT. USCIS must receive your OPT application within 60 days of your program end date. 

How can I apply for pre-completion OPT?

If you are interested in applying for pre-completion OPT (OPT during your academic program), please contact the ISS front desk at 314-516-5229 to schedule an appointment with an advisor. Consider the 90-day processing time as you decide when to file your application. You will not be able to start working until you have received your Employment Authorization Document (then you can begin on the start date printed on the document).

Where can I find more information about OPT?

Contact us in MSC 261, iss@umsl.edu, or 314-516-5229.

Where can I find the presentations from the workshops?

OPT Presentation

Career Services Presentation