Optional Practical Training

Optional Practical Training (OPT) allows eligible F-1 students to work off-campus for up to 12 months. Most students use OPT after graduation. Since the application goes through the Department of Homeland Security and the process takes a few months, it is a good idea to plan early! Please see the OPT handout for details.

For other options for off-campus work that are not commonly used due to narrow eligibility requirements, please come and talk to an advisor at International Education.

Important Information for Students on OPT

Requirement to update employment information

Students on OPT are required to update their employer's information. To do this:

  1. Create your OPT Portal Account
  2. Update your employment information in the SEVP Portal or submit the OPT Employment Information form to an F-1 specialist in Shoreline's International Education department
  3. Obtain your updated I-20 form

Unemployment period cannot exceed 90 days

Students who are on OPT must not be unemployed for a period of more than 90 days.

Requirement to Update Contact Information

When you change your address, phone number, or email, you must provide information to International Education within 10 days. You can update information in your OPT Portal or submit the Change of Contact Information Form to the International Education department.