SCNM students on an active F1 status visa who wish to apply for an Optional Training Program (OPT) must complete this form to begin the application process.
Optional Practical Training (OPT) is a period during which graduate students with F-1 status who have completed or have been pursuing their degrees for more than nine months are permitted by the USCIS to work towards getting practical training to complement their field of studies
Pre-completion OPT is OPT for which an F1 student is authorized before they complete their program of study. It is available after the F1 student has completed one academic year of study. Pre-completion OPT may be authorized for up to 20 hours per week while classes are in session
Students can apply for a post-completion OPT as early as 90 days before the end of program date, until 60 days after the end of program date. USCIS must receipt (not receive) your application no later than 60 days after your I-20 end date.
What Work Privileges are Available on OPT?
Under an F1 visa, students can complete their entire degree, and they have certain rights to work while they are on a valid F1 status. Check out this "Working in the USA"
article for full details about other legal ways to work in the USA. While there is some right to work under OPT while still in school (“pre-completion OPT”), the main use for OPT is the right to work for 12 months after completion of a degree (“post-completion OPT”). So as you near graduation, you can apply for OPT, which will permit you to work for any employer in the US (subject to all of the rules of OPT). You can apply for a new OPT period for each new degree level you complete - for instance, if you receive a Bachelor’s degree, you can apply for OPT and work for a year, go back to graduate school, then when you complete your Masters or PHD, you can apply for OPT again and work for another year (many students actually do this).
Employment Start Dates and End Dates:
Students must disclose the stand and end dates for OPT Employment on this form. The Start Date for Post-Completion OPT must be no later than 60 days after the end of program date on your I20.