Optional Practical Training (OPT) is temporary employment that is directly related to an F-1 student’s major area of study. Under existing rules, an F-1 student may be authorized to receive up to 12 months of practical training either pre- and/or post- completion of studies.
An F-1 student may be authorized to participate in pre-completion OPT after he/she has been enrolled for one full academic year. The pre-completion OPT must be directly related to the student’s course of study. Students authorized to participate in pre-completion OPT must work part-time while school is in session. They may work full time when school is not in session.
An F-1 student may be authorized to participate in post-completion OPT upon completion of studies. The post-completion OPT must be directly related to the student’s course of study.
Application Process for OPT
The student must apply for optional post-completion practical training from ninety days before until 60 days after the of completion of study. Completion of study generally means the last day of the term in which the student is completing the course of study. The student may apply for optional post-completion practical training without a job offer.
To apply for optional post-completion practical training, a student must present the following to the International Services Office:
Academic Advisor Recommendation Form:
This form should be completed by your academic advisor. Click here to download
Records Office Verification form:
Complete the Section A of the form and submit it to Registrar's office located in south campus hall. Click here to download
Completed Form I-538
Completed Form I-765
All original I-20's a student has from the start of the course at UNH
Passport, Visa and I-94 card
Two color photos. Click here for photograph specifications
A check or money order of $380 made payable to Department of Homeland Security
NOTE: Please fill out the forms as much as you can. If you are not certain about filling the forms or have doubts regarding a particular question of the form, we suggest you to leave the question blank. We will help you with that.
Provide the International Services Office with all the above except the Records Office Verification form. A new I-20 will be made with OPT start and end dates. Pick up the new OPT I-20 from ISO and mail a copy of it with all other forms to the address of the USCIS Service Center that corresponds to the state where you live.
If you live in CT:
U.S Citizenship and Immigration Services
PO Box 660867
Dallas, TX 75266