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).
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 of your OPT approval can take more than 90 days so plan ahead! Currently the USCIS processing time for OPT approvals is 3 - 4 months.
1. You do not need a job offer to apply for OPT. Even if you do not have a job offer pending, you should prepare to apply for OPT as soon as possible to give yourself the best chance of receiving your EAD as early as possible.
2. If you have a job offer or pending job offer with a start date right after your graduate, you may not receive your EAD in time due to the lengthy USCIS processing times. You should plan ahead and start the OPT application process the term before your final term, so you can file on the earliest date available. You should also be prepared to explain to potential employers that you cannot legally work until you receive your EAD due to USCIS processing delays. Hopefully employers will remain flexible and patient.
5 Steps: What to Expect
1. Attend OPT workshop (see below).
2. Send OPT I-20 Request Form to ISSS
3. Email advisor Yu Zhang (email@example.com) for an OPT document review and to receive your OPT I-20.
4. File OPT application online.
5. Wait for OPT to be approved: You will very likely receive your EAD card after 90 days or more of your application.
Attend a Zoom OPT Workshop
Tuesday, October 12 at 12 pm (noon) https://uoregon.zoom.us/j/92552521499
Thursday, October 21 at 10 am https://uoregon.zoom.us/j/97847673164
Friday, November 5 at 10 am https://uoregon.zoom.us/j/91065422381
Monday, November 22 at 4 pm https://uoregon.zoom.us/j/97478744898
Thursday, December 2 at 12 pm (noon) https://uoregon.zoom.us/j/98182840121
Wednesday, December 15 at 3:30 pm https://uoregon.zoom.us/j/95135649565
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.