How to apply for Optional Practical Training (OPT)
- Schedule a OPT group appointment with ISSSO counselor
- DO NOT submit and pay for an application online with USCIS at this time
- You are required to be present in the U.S. in order to apply for OPT
- Download the instructions and application forms
- Join the virtual OPT group appointment with the completed forms and required items:
- Current I-20
- Passport(s) that is valid for six months into the future and most recent visa page
- Your current I-94 or the change of status approval notice (I-797) if you changed your status in the U.S. and have not left the U.S.
- Prior EAD card if you have any
- Completed Academic Verification form signed by your academic advisor
- Completed Student Responsibility form
- 1 electronic color passport-type photo for filing online or 2 color passport-type photos if filing by paper. Has to be new and within six months.
- Follow the instructions provided by the counselor during your virtual OPT workshop*
- Submit Payment Coupon and Post Completion OPT alumni fee ($100) – Mail to ISSSO Office
*Our office highly recommends filing the OPT application online through the USCIS website. You must receive the OPT recommendation I-20 from our office before you file the application with USCIS. If you file online with USCIS, the application fee (currently $410) will be paid by credit card or direct debit through the USCIS / PAY.gov website. We will provide further instructions in the OPT group workshop. Filing online is more secure and easier to complete. The $100 alumni fee is separate and must be paid by check or money order to our office directly.