Optional Practical Training, also known as OPT, is temporary work authorization available to F-1 international students who have been full-time students for at least two consecutive semesters and plan to seek employment in the United States in their fields of study. OPT is a benefit of a student’s F-1 status and eligible students can apply to receive up to 12 months of employment authorization.

Students studying science, technology, engineering, or mathematics (STEM) may be eligible for a STEM OPT extension, which allows you to stay and work in the United States for 24 months after graduation.

How to pursue: Reach out to your school’s international office to learn more about eligibility, the application process, and filing deadlines.