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International Student and Scholar Support

Types of OPT

Post-completion OPT:

Post-completion OPT typically occurs after your program completion. Post-completion OPT is the most common type of OPT utilized.

Your OPT start date will begin after your I-20 end date. If your I-20 end date needs to be adjusted to an earlier date, this will occur at the time you make the request for an OPT recommendation I-20. 

Pre-completion OPT:

Pre-completion OPT is Optional Practical Training utilized before the I-20 end date and the completion of your studies. It is typically only used in very specific or special case scenarios.

Pre-completion OPT is counted towards the 12 months of OPT available. If you do part-time pre-completion OPT, it is counted at half the rate of full-time OPT. Please note the specific requirements necessary to apply for pre-completion OPT:

  • ISS highly recommends that you have a job offer before applying for pre-completion OPT so that you do not "waste" your 12 months of OPT time.
  • While school is in session, you are limited to part-time pre-completion OPT, unless you are exempt from full-time enrollment/on Z status. You can take part in full-time pre-completion OPT during summer and winter breaks.
  • You must have been enrolled as a full-time student for at least one academic year

STEM Extension OPT:

If you are applying for your STEM Extension OPT, please see the STEM OPT section of our website.

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