Optional Practical Training (OPT)

In This Section

*** All students must complete an off-campus employment workshop, located on Rglobal portal under Wokshops menu***


1) OISS is aware that USCIS announced the ability to apply for OPT online. You must receive an OPT I-20 from OISS BEFORE submitting your application online to USCIS. 

5/5/2021, Online OPT Application Alert: Do not submit an OPT application online from outside of the US and/or without a SIGNED OPT recommendation I-20. Once you pay the online application fee, the I-765 is considered filed immediately and will result in a denial if you applied from outside the US and without the OPT I-20.

2) Premium Processing is now available for OPT I-765 applications. USCIS provides the option for you to have your OPT application adjudicated within 30 calendar days from the date of request. Adjudication could be an approval, request for evidence, rejection, or denial - it does NOT guarantee you an approval.

Premium processing is NOT mandatory. This is a personal decision you need to make based on your situation. You should carefully review all information the USCIS Premium Processing webpage and the normal USCIS Processing Times webpage before making your decision. 

USCIS Mailing Update: USCIS Changes I-765 Filing Addresses for F-1 Students | NAFSA

UPDATE from USCIS: On Sept. 29, 2020, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California in Immigration Legal Resource Center et al., v. Wolf, et al., 20-cv-05883-JWS, preliminarily enjoined DHS from implementing or enforcing any part of the USCIS Fee Schedule and Changes to Certain Other Immigration Benefit Request Requirements rule.

What this Means: Until further notice, USCIS is still accepting the I-765 form released on 8/25/2020. This is the form with the expiration date of 07/31/2022 in the upper right corner. Also, $410 will continue to be the filing fee. USCIS is accepting this fee until the court hearing has a final rule in California. The OISS will provide you with any updates as they become available.

Optional Practical Training (OPT) is temporary employment directly related to an F-1 student’s major area of study and is commensurate with the level of education being sought. An F-1 student may be authorized 12 months of OPT for study at one education level and may become eligible for another 12 months of OPT after changing to a higher educational level. An F-1 student with a degree majoring in science, technology, engineering, or mathematics (STEM) may apply for an extension of an additional 24-month OPT while in a valid period of post-completion OPT. Students in English language training programs are ineligible for practical training.

Pre-completion OPT

Post-completion OPT

24-month STEM OPT Extension

Reporting Requirements during Standard Post-completion OPT and STEM OPT

Key Contacts

Honors Living Learning Community (HLLC)226 & 227
48 New StreetNewarkNJ07102

OISS In-Person Walk-In Hours:

* No appointment necessary. *
Monday - Thursday: 10:00am – 3:00pm

Friday, Saturday, Sunday: CLOSED

Virtual one-on-one appointments available at  Rutgers Newark - OISS (office365.com)