OPT

Read below for more information on Optional Practical Training (OPT):

  • Checklist

    Before applying for OPT, please attend an OPT Information Session.

    The following documents must be submitted to the International Center or directly to USCIS:

    • Completed OPT Request Form (contact the International Center) [not required for STEM extension]
    • Completed I-765, the most up-to-date form is available at https://www.uscis.gov 
      • For#3, please write the address where you will receive mail after graduation
      • For #16, if applying for pre-completion enter the following: [ C ] [ 3 ] [ A ]
      • For #16, if applying for post-completion enter the following: [ C ] [ 3 ] [ B ]
      • For#16,if applying for the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM extension) enter the following: [ C ] [ 3 ] [ C ]
    • Completed G-1145, available at https://www.uscis.gov (OPTIONAL FORM) –
    • Complete this form if you want to receive an email and/or text message from USCIS confirming receipt of your application
    • A check or money order for $410 made payable to U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
    • A photocopy of the I-94 (front and back), or printed from CBP website
    • A photocopy of the last employment authorization document (EAD) (front and back), if applicable.
    • Copy of your diploma or final transcript (STEM applicants only)
    • A photocopy of your passport.
    • A photocopy of your F-1 visa (except Canadian students).
    • Two passport-sized color photos (must be 2 inches by 2 inches).
    • Photocopies of all previous I-20’s, front and back
    • Photocopy of new I-20 with a signature and recommendation for OPT from an International Center staff member.
  • Frequently Asked Questions

    Can I study while on OPT?
    During OPT, you can only take courses that do not apply toward a degree program. Courses during OPT can only be part-time, and they must be recreational in nature. You may not begin study toward a new degree program.
    During OPT, you can choose to begin a degree program. However, the day your I-20 is transferred to your new school, your OPT ends. If you choose to stay at CBU for a Master’s degree, your OPT will end on the start date of your new program. The other option is to begin a degree program after your OPT.

    What If I apply for OPT, but I fail a class and need to complete my degree during OPT?
    You can complete a class or two during OPT. However, you can only work part-time until you complete all program requirements.
    If you are aware that you will not pass a class before your OPT is approved, we can extend your program and send an updated OPT I-20 to USCIS. They may or may not accept it. You may have to reapply for OPT and repay the fee. We can also completely cancel the OPT Request in SEVIS.