F-1 students who plan to work in the U.S. can apply for Optional Practical Training (OPT), a temporary employment authorization that provides an opportunity to apply knowledge gained in the classroom to a practical work experience off-campus.
If you will be staying and working in the U.S. this summer, you should plan to apply for OPT soon. It can take 90 days or more for USCIS to approve OPT, so it is important to apply as early as possible:
- Are you graduating this May? You will apply for post-completion OPT and the earliest date you can submit your application is Thursday, February 21st.
- Are you a continuing student? You will apply for pre-completion OPT and you can apply as early as 90 days before your prospective employment start date.
You can find detailed information on eligibility, and application timeline and process on our F-1 OPT page.