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Optional Practical Training (OPT)


The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) permit lawful F-1 students the opportunity to gain practical work experience in their field of study after completing their program of study. This experience is called Optional Practical Training (OPT). By law, OPT must be approved by the Immigration Specialist, at the Center for International Education (CIE)) and submitted to USCIS within 60 days of degree program completion. F-1 visa holders become eligible for another year of OPT when they change to a higher degree level.

Graduating students can apply for OPT 90 days before the completion of their program or within 60 days after the completion of their program at CCSU. Please be aware that it takes approximately 90 days for USCIS to process an OPT application. It is illegal to begin employment before you receive the Employment Authorization Document (EAD Card) and you are only permitted to work within the dates specified.

Eligibility Requirements

You must:

  • Valid F-1 status.
  • Lawfully enrolled full-time for at least one academic year.
  • Used less than one year of full time Curricular Practical Training (CPT).
  • Have NOT completed a full year of OPT at your current degree level.
  • Employment is related to your course of study
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