These are the steps you need to take to successfully apply for OPT:
- Attend a mandatory OPT Workshop and submit your Last Quarter Statement. The workshop must be completed before requesting an OPT appointment. OPT Workshops are offered monthly and those who are graduating will be given priority.
- Request a letter from your academic advisor indicating your major and date of degree completion. The letter must also include a few lines stating how participating in practical training would be beneficial for your education.
- Fill out items 1-16 on Form I-765, and sign in BLACK ink (your signature should remain between the two lines as they will scan this signature for your card) and date it. Make sure your handwriting is legible to avoid mistakes on your application and on your EAD card. The form is in a PDF fillable form, so we recommend typing in your answers to avoid USCIS misreading the form.
PS: If you already have a Social Security card, skip sessions 10 through 13.b in the I-765 form.
- Complete the OPT request form. You can find this form at the package given to you at the OPT workshop or at the ISC (PAVL 160).
- Make 2 copies each of your passport information page, current F-1 Visa, I-94 number, and all previous Form I-20s and Employment Authorization Documents (EAD card), all in black & white (NOT color ink). If you're unsure what you need, we can make copies for you. It is also recommended you bring the originals for inspection in case additional copies are necessary.
- Prepare a check or money order to the Department of Homeland Security for $410.
- Have two U.S. passport photos (full frontal view, 2x2 inches, all white background, no more than 30 days old when application is filed).
- Call the International Student Center at (206) 296-6260 to set up an appointment for practical training and bring items 2-7 listed above. Please allow an hour for the appointment. Note: Same day appointments are not available.
- If you are applying for a STEM-Extension, you need to fill a form I-983 with your supervisor. This form, also known as your training plan, needs to be sent to your immigration advisor at least 24 hours before your OPT Extension appointment.
The ISC will review your application and submit a recommendation for practical training by updating your record in SEVIS.