Optional Practical Training, or OPT, is an immigration benefit designed to allow F-1 students to gain experience working in a field related to their studies.
Most F-1 graduates of Georgetown College take advantage of a full year of Post-Completion OPT employment after completing their Bachelorâ€™s degrees.
The application for OPT is not difficult, but it requires careful planning. You will need to gather all necessary documentation, make an appointment to meet to update your I-20, and complete an I-765 application for Employment Authorization.
After applying, you should expect to wait several weeks â€“ sometimes months â€“ before receiving approval to work; therefore, it is extremely important to plan ahead and to begin the application process early – May graduates should start the process by February at the latest.
Form I-765 (Application for Employment Authorization)
Form I-765 Instructions
For an introduction to your employment options after OPT please see the How to Hire an International Student handout.
Curricular Practical Training is an immigration benefit for F-1 students, intended to allow students to gain off-campus work experience that is an integral part of your degree program; there must be a very clear and strong academic basis for the employment activity in order for the employment to be authorized.
If you are interested in exploring CPT, please schedule a meeting with the Office of International Programs.