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Optional Practical Training (OPT)

Optional Practical Training is for undergraduate and graduate students with F-1 status who have completed or who have been pursuing their degrees and are permitted by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to work for, at most, 12 months or up to an addtional 24 months with an extension on a student visa for practical training in their field of study.

All students must complete the tutorial and certificate through blackboard before the IC will accept your OPT application.

For more information regarding OPT and to begin the application process, please review the International Center OPT Tutorial in blackboard. Download the advisor’s recommendation form and the OPT Worksheet to use and refer to while you are completing the tutorial.

To Access the Tutorial

  • Log in to your myIIT portal and click on the blackboard icon.
  • Once you are in blackboard, click on courses in the top right corner.
  • Search courses for OPT.
  • Move your cursor over the International Center OPT Tutorial course ID and click the gray circle for the enroll option.
  • Click submit.
  • You are now ready to take the OPT tutorial!

Advisor's Recommendation Form

OPT Worksheet

OPT Processing Delays

USCIS occassionally experiences delays when processing OPT applications.  While USCIS is expected to act on each case within 90 days, it can sometimes take longer.  The longest processing time we have seen so far is 135 days.

What causes the USCIS OPT processing delays?
The cause of OPT processing delays is unclear.  Processing times have always fluctuated due to the varying volume of applications (Ex. more applications around spring graduation time and fewer applications in the summer) and changes in the number of USCIS officers assigned to process work authorization applications.

How can I track the case status of my OPT application?
You can track the current case status of your OPT application by entering your USCIS receipt number here

After applying for OPT, how long should I wait before trying to contact USCIS?
Please note that excessive contact with USCIS can actually slow down your OPT application processing time.  It's best to keep your contact with USCIS as minimal as possible.  For guidance on when and how you can monitor your OPT application, please click here.

What does it mean if my case has been transferred?
The USCIS Lockbox may transfer your case to another Service Center.  This does not mean that anything is wrong with your case.  These transfers occur in order to balance the volume of applications and reduce the effect of delays.  When the USCIS Lockbox sends your case to another Service Center, you will receive a notice with your receipt number.

What do I tell my employer?  How can I explain the processing delay to them?
If the processing delay is going to affect your employment start date, keep your employer updated on what you have done to expedite the process.  Explain to your employer that you can only start working after the start date on your EAD card and after you receive the EAD card in the mail.

Post-Completion OPT Reporting Requirements

The following documentation requirements must be met and submitted to the International Center.

  • Copy of your EAD card (upon receipt)
  • Post-Completion OPT Reporting Survey (to report 10 days after the start date listed on the EAD card even if you  are not employed)
  • You are also required to report the following within 10 days of the event:
    • Change in name
    • Change in address
    • Employment status
    • Interruption of employment
    • Permanent departure from the U.S. during OPT
    • Change of immigration status

To report on the items listed above, you must complete the Post-Completion OPT Reporting Survey. This online tool is a quick and easy way to maintain your OPT status.