Students who wish to work off campus must have immigration authorization for Optional Practical Training (OPT) or Curricular Practical Training (CPT). The procedure for OPT includes viewing a tutorial and completing the required E-form to request OPT.
F-1 students have the option to apply for either Pre-Completion OPT or Post-Completion OPT during their program of study. To determine which OPT is needed for your situation, please view the appropriate tutorial.
There are 5 easy steps to completing a successful OPT application
- Watch the appropriate OPT Tutorial.Complete the OPT assessment and the I-765. Upload both documents to the appropriate E-form in iStart.gatech.edu
- Pick up the I-20 from OIE once the E-form has been approved. Assemble your application together using the checklist provided by the OIE and mail the complete application to USCIS. For a complete OPT application check-list, click here.
- Receive the Notice of Action and the EAD card.
- Begin working only after you have received the EAD card authorizing you for OPT work permission.
Important Dates for Spring 2013 Graduates:
January 28th: First day to submit OPT request in iStart (Takes up to 5 business days for an advisor to create your OPT I-20).
February 3rd: First day Texas Immigration Service Center will receive OPT applications
May 4th: Spring 2013 Graduation
July 3rd: Last day Texas Immigration Service Center will receive OPT applications
Non-thesis students are no longer required to have an appointment with an OIE advisor prior to submitting an application for Pre-completion or Post-completion OPT although advisors are available to answer questions and support students through the OPT process. Thesis students are required to meet with an international student advisor after completing the e-form to discuss their situation in more detail. Thesis students who have watched the tutorial and have questions on whether to apply for pre-completion or post-completion OPT should speak with an international student advisor during walk-in hours prior to completing the e-form.
OIE has also implemented a new 17 month STEM extension tutorial. Please view this tutorial if you are currently on your Post-completion OPT and considering the STEM extension.