Optional Practical Training

OPT is an optional benefit that allows F-1 students to obtain full-time (more than 20 hours) work experience in their major field of study for up to 12 months at each educational level (e.g., bachelor, master, and Ph.D). Students may engage in OPT while they are still attending after completing at least once academic year (Pre-completion OPT). Students may engage in OPT after completing their degrees (Post-completion OPT). Or a combination of the two. OPT requires an application to the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and takes about three months to process. In order to apply for OPT, students must first attend an OPT Workshop held by OISS.

TYPES OF OPT

All OPT must be directly related to the student’s major area of study. Students may participate in OPT in two different ways:

Please Note: Practical training may be authorized to an F-1 student who has been lawfully enrolled on a full time basis for one full academic year at a college, university, conservatory, or seminary that has been certified by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) to enroll F-1 students.  The “one full academic year” requirement may be satisfied while in another nonimmigrant category, not just while in F-1 status.  Students may participate in OPT both before and after completing their studies. However, all periods of pre-completion OPT will be deducted from the available period of post-completion OPT.

Pre-completion OPT:  

F-1 students may apply to participate in pre-completion OPT after they have been enrolled in school for one full academic year. 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.  

Post-completion OPT:  

F-1 students may apply to participate in post-completion OPT after completing their studies. Students authorized for post-completion OPT may work part-time (at least 20 hours per week) or full-time.

OPT Workshop Dates for Fall 2018

If you are graduating in Fall 2018 and would like to apply for OPT, it is mandatory to attend the OPT Workshop before applying for OPT. OPT application forms are not available on the OISS website and will be given to you when you attend the workshop.

Dates

Times

Location

Tuesday, September 4

10:00 - 11:00 am

FS Conference Room, 2nd floor

Wednesday, September 19

10:00 - 11:00 am

Pioneer Plaza (PL11)

Wednesday, October 10

10:00 - 11:00 am

FS Conference Room, 2nd floor

Tuesday, October 23

2:00 - 3:00 pm

Pioneer Plaza (PL11)

Tuesday, November 6

2:00 - 3:00 pm

FS Conference Room, 2nd floor

Wednesday, November 28

10:00 - 11:00 am

Pioneer Plaza (PL11)


Workshops that take place in the FS Conference room will be a discussion based presentation regarding the timeline, process, and regulations affecting students on OPT. Hard copy application forms will be provided for students to use for notes.

Workshops that take place in PL 11 (Pioneer Plaza) are based in a computer lab. While we will review OPT timeline, process, and regulations, these sessions will provide a more hands-on approach to completing the OPT application, allowing students to type forms with assistance if necessary. Students attending these sessions must confirm they can access on-campus computers.

If you would like to attend a workshop, please send an email to iss@hpu.edu with the following information:

  • Your full legal name
  • HPU student ID number
  • Date of workshop that you would like to attend
  • Confirm that you are graduating in Fall 2018. Only students graduating in Fall 2018 can attend these OPT workshops.

An email confirmation will be sent to you confirming your registration to attend an OPT Workshop has been processed.

OPT APPLICATION VIDEO TUTORIAL

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Students may choose to engage in pre-completion OPT. Pre-completion OPT is deducted from the 12 months of post-completion OPT.  If a student engages in part-time pre-completion OPT, the student’s eligible period of post-completion OPT will be deducted at ½ rate. For example, if a student engages in 4 months of part-time pre-completion of OPT, his or her eligible period of post-completion OPT will be deducted 2 months and a total of 10 months will be left after graduation.
     • Part-time (20 hours per week or less) while school is in session and enrolled in a full course of study.
     • Full-time (more than 20 hours per week) or part-time (20 hours per week or less) during vacation periods such as summer, winter, spring breaks.

*** Students in certificate programs are not eligible for OPT.

Students on OPT must report their employment information to OIS. Students can update their employment information once they receive their EAD in the mail, the start date on the EAD has been reached, and they have a job offer.