Optional Practical Training (OPT)


Post-Completion OPT

Post-completion OPT is optional work authorization F-1 international students have earned, and may apply for, one term before completing a degree at the UO. OPT extends your F-1 status for 12 months for purposes of practical training in the U.S. related to your major.  The OPT application process requires advance planning with the ISSS office and is approved by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

• Pre-Completion OPT is available to doctoral students in their dissertation period, with job offers in advance of completing their degree. Please contact an international student advisor to discuss whether this is a valid option based on your academic plan. Curricular Practical Training may be a better option for most doctoral students. 

Filing Dates

The earliest date you can file your OPT application with USCIS is 90 days before the last day of your final term. The latest filing date is 60 days after the last day of your final term. However, the processing time to receive your work authorization can take several weeks so plan ahead! Currently the USCIS processing time for OPT approvals is 10-14 weeks.

1. You do not need a job offer to apply for OPT. You should prepare to apply for OPT as soon as possible to give yourself the best chance of receiving your Employment Authorization Document (EAD) as early as possible.

2. If you have a job offer or pending job offer with a start date right after you graduate, you should plan ahead and start preparing the OPT application the term before your final term, so you can file on the earliest date available. 

5 Steps to Apply for OPT

1. Attend an OPT workshop (see below)

2. Submit the "OPT I-20 Request e-form at iconnect.uoregon.edu (under F1 Practical Training). For undergraduate students, you must have applied for degree before submitting this eform.

3. An ISSS advisor will contact you to schedule an OPT document review and provide you with an OPT I-20. (CAUTION: An OPT I-20, once issued and signed by an ISSS advisor, is only valid for 30 days.)

4. File OPT application (I-765) online (do NOT file on your own without an ISSS advisor's approval)

5. Wait for OPT to be approved and receipt of the Employment Authorization Document (EAD) card

Attend a Zoom OPT Workshop

Thursday, September 28 @ 3:30 pm.   Sorry - this workshop has been canceled. Please attend the next workshop or schedule an appointment with an ISSS advisor at 541-346-3206.

Wednesday, October 4 @ 12 pm.         https://uoregon.zoom.us/j/95825565216

Monday, October 16 @ 3 pm                https://uoregon.zoom.us/j/93489887885

Monday, November 6 @ 12 pm            https://uoregon.zoom.us/j/99024769376



STEM Extension OPT

If you have completed a degree in a STEM (science, technology, engineering, or mathematics) field and you are already on post-completion OPT, you may be eligible for a 24-month extension of your OPT to work in a STEM field. In order to apply for this benefit, you should download and read through our STEM OPT Packet, or call 541-346-3206 to make an in-person or phone appointment with an international student advisor. In order to qualify for the extension, USCIS must receive your application no later than the last day of your current post-completion OPT authorization period. Please plan ahead.

Download STEM OPT Packet

STEM OPT Reporting Requirements