Optional Practical Training (OPT)

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 Bachelor’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 – sometimes months – 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 (CPT)

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.


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