Optional Practical Training (OPT) is temporary full-time employment that is directly related to an F-1 student’s major area of study. Eligible students may apply to receive up to 12 months of OPT employment authorization after completing their academic studies (post-completion).
F-1 students who have maintained their status for a minimum of one academic year at City College of San Francisco may be eligible to apply for post-completion OPT. Eligibility criteria:
- Have studied at CCSF for at least 1 academic year (2 semesters) before OPT
- Have a minimum GPA of 2.0 or above
- Must be registered full-time (or enrolled part-time with prior approval for a Reduced Course Load)
- Must be completing their program in the current semester
- Must be completing an eligible program. Language training is not an eligible program for OPT, and general studies degrees may not be eligible programs for OPT (eligibility is discussed on a one-on-one basis between a DSO and the student)
- Note: students who have already completed a Certificate, Associate Degree, or higher in the U.S. may not be eligible for OPT. Students who have used OPT at the same or higher level before are not eligible for OPT. Please contact our office for more information about your eligibility for OPT.
Students who wish to apply for OPT must follow these steps to apply:
- Complete Mandatory online OPT Workshop (via Canvas). The workshop link is sent via email to all F-1 students at the beginning of each semester.
- Meet with a counselor to complete a graduation petition form (for Associate Degree or Certificate)
- Complete USCIS Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization
- Assemble the necessary documents (see workshop for details)
- Bring Completed Forms to one of the in-person OPT meetings with OIP DSOs (meetings are held via Zoom during the COVID-19 pandemic)
- Prepare and mail your OPT application to USCIS within 30 days of receiving your new OPT I-20
The detailed online OPT workshop is available for students during the last semester of your program. An email will be sent out at the beginning of each semester with the link to the workshop, and it is also linked above on this page.
Already on OPT?
Remember to report your employment on your SEVP portal! You are required to report any changes of employment within 10 days! Please use your SEVP portal to report your employment. If you lost access to your SEVP portal, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org