Optional Practical Training (OPT) for Enrolled International Students

Finish Your Studies And Get Real Work Experience In The US!

Optional Practical Training allows F-1 students who have studied for at least 9 months and completed a professional certificate to apply for up to one year of work authorization. Students apply for OPT with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) as early as 90 days before they complete their certificate and as late as 60 days afterwards. If a student's OPT is approved, he or she can work for up to one year in the United States, adding valuable professional experience to their training at UCSC Silicon Valley Extension.

If you would like to apply for OPT, please carefully review the intructions sent to you by your OPT/student advisor.

Please plan ahead. Prior to applying for OPT, you must attend one of Extension’s OPT workshops. In these workshops, the International Student Advisor will explain how to apply for OPT, what to do once you receive approval from USCIS and how to maintain your visa status while on OPT. UCSC Extension’s International Advisor will guide you through the OPT application process and review your OPT materials before you submit them to USCIS. A $100 OPT application fee will apply.