Optional Practical Training (OPT)

F-1 students who have been enrolled full-time for one academic year and have maintained status are eligible to apply to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) for Optional Practical Training (OPT).

To begin the process, follow the instructions below:

  1. To apply for OPT, go to the application page and click on the "Register/Apply" button.
  2. Select the top radio button, “I have a Username and password,” then click the "Submit" button at the bottom of the page.
  3. Log in using your Netpass credentials (IC email username: e.g., pzhang -do not include IC's domain name as part of the username - and your IC email password), then click the "Login" button.
  4. At the top of the screen, select the appropriate term.
  5. Enter your preferred start and end dates for your OPT experience, then, in the "Find Location" field, type in the city you plan to have your OPT experience in (e.g., Atlanta), click the search button.
  6. Select the appropriate location that appears in the drop-down menu, then click the "Add to Itinerary" button. This will create an Itinerary entry under Current Itinerary section towards the top of the page. If you make a mistake, you may click the red X shown on the left of the entry to delete it and then you may reenter information.
  7. When your anticipated dates and location are correct, click on the "Apply" button at the bottom of the screen.
  8. Once you have logged in, click on the blue link that says, "Request Electronic Recommendations and Approvals," then type the IC email address of the person you have asked to submit your OPT recommendation. When the person's name appears, select the appropriate radio button, then click the "Next" button.
  9. Fill in any relevant information in the two boxes provided, then click the "Save" button. This will send an electronic recommendation request to the person you've chosen to submit your OPT recommendation.
  10. Finally, be sure to schedule an appointment with Diana to go over the rest of the OPT requirements.