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Occupational Practical Training for F-1 Students

Optional Practical Training (OPT) is temporary employment that is directly related to an F-1 student’s major area of study. You can hire an eligible student for up to 12 months of OPT employment authorization before completing their academic studies (pre-completion) and/or after completing their academic studies (post-completion). However, all periods of pre-completion OPT will be deducted from the available period of post-completion OPT.

STEM OPT Extension

If your employee-F1 earned a degree in certain science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields, he or she may apply for a 24-month extension of his or her post-completion OPT employment authorization if:

  • the STEM degree is included on the STEM Designated Degree Program List,
  • You are enrolled in and using E-Verify, and
  • The F-1 employee received an initial grant of post-completion OPT employment authorization based on his or her STEM degree.