OPT is the Optional Practical Training program, which allows international students on F-1 visas to work in the United States for up to 12 months after completing their studies. The purpose of OPT is to give international students the opportunity to gain practical work experience in their field of study and to better prepare them for their future careers.
To participate in OPT, you must:
-Be in good academic standing at your school.
-Have completed at least one academic year of full-time study in the United States.
-Be enrolled in a program of study that is directly related to your career goals.
-Obtain approval from your school’s Designated School Official (DSO) and the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
If you are approved for OPT, you will receive an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) from the USCIS that allows you to work in the United States for up to 12 months. You can work full-time or part-time, and you can work for any employer in the United States as long as the work is related to your field of study.
While on OPT, you are responsible for finding your own employment and maintaining your status as a student. You must also report any changes in your employment or personal information to your DSO.
OPT is a valuable opportunity for international students to gain practical experience in their field of study and to make connections in the U.S. job market. It can also be a stepping stone to more permanent employment in the United States, such as through an H-1B visa.