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How do I apply for OPT?
Use this checklist to compile the necessary documents and then schedule an appointment at the Center for Global Education.

What is OPT?

Optional Practical Training (OPT) is, “temporary employment for optional practical training related to the students major area of study.” [SEVIS Regulation 8 C.F.R. ¶ 214.2(f) (10) (ii)]
 

During what times can I do OPT?

Students can apply for pre-completion OPT, during the student’s annual vacation and at other times when school is not in session if the student is currently enrolled and eligible, and intends to register for the next session. While the school is in session, provided that it does not exceed 20 hours per week while school is in session.

After completion of all course requirements for the degree, excluding thesis or equivalent, if the student is in a bachelor’s, master’s or doctoral degree program.

Student must have been lawfully enrolled on a full-time basis at John Carroll University for one full academic year before being eligible for OPT. OPT is available both before and after completion of the education objective, but different rules apply to pre- and post- completion programs.

Where can I work?

The OPT work must be directly related to and equal to the level of your course study. You may engage in OPT for any employer for the duration of OPT authorization, as long as the employment qualifies under OPT standards.

What is the duration of OPT?

Cumulative maximum of 12 months per educational level. Part time OPT is deducted from the 12 month limit at 50 percent. Students with STEM fields that appear on the list may apply for an additional two years while on OPT.

How many hours must I work while on OPT?

There is a 20 hours/week limit for pre-completion OPT done while school is in session and student has course work to complete. Over 20 hours/week can be requested for pre-completion OPT done during official school breaks or after student has completed all coursework required for the degree while you are completing a thesis or dissertation.

For post-completion OPT, only full-time (21 hours or more) OPT can be requested.

Do I have to have an employment offer to apply for OPT?

No offer of employment is required, but you are expected to work or be actively seeking employment after the OPT Employment Authorization Document (EAD) is issued.

What if I used CPT before?

Prior use of full-time Curricular Practical Training (CPT) for one year or more eliminates eligibility for OPT.