OPT F-1 EMPLOYMENT AUTHORIZATION PROCEDURES

Optional Practical Training (OPT) Application APPLY

Academic advisor Recommendation Form

Form I-765

OPT Instructions

GENERAL INFORMATION: Optional Practical Training (OPT) is temporary employment authorization that is related to an F-1 student’s academic program. The work done does not count towards course credit; therefore it is the student’s option to engage in employment. OPT may be used during a degree program (not recommended) as well as after completion of course requirements. The application process takes a minimum of three months for both initial applications and renewals. If applying for OPT based on graduation, the OPT application must be submitted to USCIS before the official completion/graduation date. An F-1 student is
eligible for a MAXIMUM OF 12 MONTHS of this type of training. While on OPT, individuals are still considered to be F-1 students at Lamar University even though they may be working elsewhere in the United States.

YOU MAY NOT APPLY FOR OPT PAST YOUR GRADUATION DATE. The International Office recommends that you not apply for OPT until you are certain of your graduation date. Students are urged to apply as early as possible, but not later than the last day to apply according to your graduation date.

To be eligible for Optional Practical Training:

  • The student must have been in full-time status consisting of 12 months of full time enrollment preceding the OPT application.
  • The student must not have worked in the United States without authorization from the United States Citizenship & Immigration Services.
  • The student must be in valid F-1 status at the time of application.
  • Apply up to 90 days prior or no later than 30 days after degree completion date (see LU calendar for dates).

Submit the following to the Office of International Student Programs and Services:

After reviewing the documents listed above, the DSO at the OISPS will determine if you are eligible for OPT. If you are eligible, you will be issued a new I-20 with recommendation for OPT employment authorization.

You will be contacted by email to come to the OISPS to do the following:
  • To sign and collect your I-20 and instructions for submitting your petition for OPT employment authorization to USCIS.
Students may not legally begin working until an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) Card
has been issued by USCIS- TSC according to the dates on the EAD Card.