Optional Practical Training (OPT)

Apply in the final term of the Program of Study

  • OPT is simply authorization or permission to work in the USA
  • You must attend an OPT workshop
  • You do not have to have a job to apply for work authorization (OPT)
  • Be in good academic standing at CPP and have completed the GWT
  • Type the I-765 and the G-1145 forms (hand written forms may cause errors)
  • After completing all the steps below, click on Step 7 and sign up for a group OPT application day


To apply for Optional Practical Training (OPT), students must indicate the date they want the work authorization to begin. Here’s how to determine when to begin work authorization:

  • Program End Date (graduation): students have 60 days after the last day of the last quarter to begin work authorization (OPT). Decide if you want to start working sometime between day 1 and day 59 after graduation.
  • 90 Day Processing: The application takes 90 days to process by USCIS.
  • Count back 90 days from the date you choose as a start date for when to apply.

The question becomes, do you want to go to work immediately after graduation? Then choose an early start date. Or do you want more time before you start work? Choose a late start date. Whichever date you chose, count back 90 days for when to apply. This gives USCIS enough time to process the application before your start date.

When you call to schedule an appointment with an International Student Advisor, you must tell the person scheduling the appointment the date you want the OPT to begin.

Click here to use Date Calculator

You can also download an excel sheet to plan your OPT dates from the Study in the States website.

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Bring the following items to the OPT appointment:

  1. Typed Form G-1145 (E-Notification)
  2. Typed Form I-765 (Application for Employment Authorization)
  3. Copy of I-20 with OPT dates
  4. Copy of passport page
  5. Copy of visa page (expired and current) and most recent date entry stamp
  6. Printed I-94 (electronic)
    1. If you recently traveled, you can access it by downloading it Official Website of the Department of Homeland Security
  7. Bring your payment of $410 made to the Dept. of Homeland Security (check, cashiers check, money order)
  8. Two new passport photos -- the photos must within the past 30 days with a off-white background

At the OPT Application Day you will get a new I-20 with your OPT start dates.

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For the I-765 Application Form: http://www.uscis.gov/files/form/i-765.pdf

I-765 Instructions



*Sample I-765* (use this as an example application)

Notes are provided in the sample form, see the yellow indicators.

  • Incomplete or incorrect applications will not be processed and will result in the delay of your OPT application
  • Your documents will be reviewed by the International Center for accuracy


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For the Form G-1145: http://www.uscis.gov/files/form/g-1145.pdf

  • Type this form and download. USCIS sends an e-mail or text verifying that your application has arrived.
  • Complete the form and place it on top of all the application.

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  • Passport photos must be taken within the past 30 days.
  • Two glossy color photos taken on an off-white background.
  • The photos should be passport style showing a full frontal view of your face.
  • The photos must be 2x2 inches, head height should be 1" to 1 3/8" from top to bottom of chin, eye height is between 1 1/8" to 1 3/8" from bottom of photo.
  • Lightly print your name and the I-94 number on the back of each photo in pencil not ink pen.
  • Place the photos in a small clear sandwich or snack bag. 

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  • Check, Cashier’s Check or Money Order are acceptable. NO CASH
  • Make a check payable to: U.S. Dept of Homeland Security
  • The amount is $410

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Select one of the dates below to meet with an advisor to prepare your OPT application. Bring your completed and printed documents with you on this day. You will get your new I-20 on this day.


 Summer 2019 Graduates

September 27th is the last OPT Application Day for Summer 2019 graduates.

June 19
September 27 REGISTER


Fall 2019 Graduates

September 27 REGISTER
October 23
November 27
December 20 REGISTER

*Incomplete applications will require you to reschedule for another day. 

*Start Date cannot be changed on the same day*

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OPT guidelines

Travel Signature Request

It takes the International Center 3 days from submission to process the request and issue a new I-20 with a current travel signature.

If you are unable to pick up your I-20 in person, you can have it shipped via UEMS.

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