All internships, practicums and clinicals must be approved in advance before you can start.
It does not matter if these are paid or unpaid, they must be preapproved.
You must be registered for a class.
- Please read the instructions
- Read all instructions and complete the CPT Request Form, including all appropriate signatures.
- Register for the attached class.
- Email the completed CPT form and the hire letter from placement to firstname.lastname@example.org
Once it has been authorized, GPO will issue you a new Form I-20 listing your placement.
YOU CANNOT START UNTIL YOU HAVE RECEIVED YOUR UPDATED FORM I-20!
Optional Practical Training (OPT) is a form of training, often paid, that directly relates to your program of study. You can apply for OPT during your program of study, which is known as pre-completion OPT, or after you finish your program of study, know as post-completion OPT.
In order to apply for OPT, F-1 students must request approval from GPO. The student then applies and receives approval from USCIS.
You cannot begin your training until you receive your authorization from USCIS.
Pre-completion OPT is limited to 20 hours per week while school is in session, but can be full-time during breaks and annual vacation.
You can apply for 12 months of OPT at each education level, (i.e., you may have 12 months of OPT at the bachelor’s level and another 12 months of OPT at the master’s level). If you are an F-1 student earning a degree science, technology, engineering or math (STEM), you may be eligible for the STEM OPT extension. For more information, visit the STEM OPT page on Study in the States.
It takes about 4-6 months to apply and receive OPT approval so it is important to plan early. Please attend an OPT Workshop. One is held every semester.
The earliest you can apply for OPT is 90 days before your program enddate and the latest is 60 days after your program enddate. However, for processing reasons, it is recommended you apply as soon as possible.
Please send Ann an email to discuss timelines and express interest in applying for OPT.