If you are an F-1 student you may be eligible for Optional Practical Training (OPT). OPT allows you to work off-campus for up to 12 months, depending on your status, academic standing, and past OPT time.

Come to an information session to learn more about this opportunity and get your questions answered!

Register by selecting a session below. Pre-registration is required. For questions, contact popec@umsl.edu.

Session Date Session Details
Wednesday, Sept. 17

SSB 331

Friday, Sept. 19

SSB 331


Should I attend?

  • If you are an F-1 student graduating this semester and want to apply for OPT, you must attend a session.
  • Any interested F-1 student may attend to learn more, even if you are not graduating.
  • If you previously applied for pre-completion OPT and you want to apply for post-completion OPT, you must attend an OPT session in your last semester.

What will I learn?

You'll learn how to file the OPT application, tips for a successful OPT experience, and the regulations that apply to F-1 students on OPT. There's time for questions, too.

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. 

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

Recommended Filing Window for Fall 2014 Graduates

September 21 - November 1*

Recommended Filing Window for Spring 2015 Graduates

February 17 - April 1*

*If you file after these dates, 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).

**Please also see the OPT information pages on our website.