Ground Crew

Post-Completion Optional Practical Training (OPT)

Eligibility Requirements

  • You have been in lawful F-1 status for a minimum of one academic year (by the time you wish to begin OPT).
  • The work is directly related to your major field of study and commensurate with your level of education; however, a job offer is not required when you apply.
  • Your application must be received by the USCIS Service Center before you complete the graduation requirements; you are recommended to send in application 90 days before you complete the graduation requirements.
  • The application requires a recommendation by the DSO and approved by the USCIS Service Center.
  • The training is limited to 12 months within the 14-month period following the completion of study after each educational level of a degree program.
  • If, during your period of OPT Authorization, you request a transfer of your I-20 to another SEVP-approved school for a new academic program, your OPT will automatically end when your I-20 is transferred.
  • OPT terminates when you fail to comply with F-1 regulations (e.g. fail to report a change of address to DSO).
  • If you have been approved for one year of full-time Curricular Practical Training (CPT), you are not eligible for OPT.


  • You may not work until you have completed all requirements for your program of study, received the “Employment Authorization Document (EAD)” from USCIS and the specified starting date has arrived.
  • To travel outside of US for a short period of time while on OPT and employed, you need a valid EAD, a valid F-1 visa, an endorsed I-20 within the last 6 months, and a letter from your employer; however, your return to U.S. is not guaranteed.  We strongly recommend that you do not travel outside of U.S. after graduation while your application is pending.

Application Procedure

1.  For NDNU International Student Office

  • Complete an OPT Application Form.PDF
  • Complete the Graduation Verification Form and have it signed by your academic advisor.

2.  To be sent to the USCIS Service Center via a certified mail with return receipt requested (mail to:  USCIS Service Center, P.O. Box 10765, Laguna Niguel, CA 92607-1076)

  • Complete the I-765 Form (you can get it from the DSO, or download from (in item #16 write “(c) (3) (b)”)
  • Copy of I-20 with DSO endorsement within the past 30 days (see below)
  • Copy of most recent I-20 that is stamped (first page only)
  • Copy of I-94 (front and back)
  • Copy of ID page from passport
  • NEW $380 Fee (or see the USCIS website for current fee, write your I-94 number on the check, check payable to US Department of Homeland Security)
  • 2 US passport style photos (write your name and I-94 number on the back of each photo)
  • Photocopy of previous EAD if applicable
  • Make an appointment to see the DSO in order to update your request in SEVIS.  Bring the above forms, your passport, and a copy of transcript to your appointment.  You will be given an endorsed I-20 if your application is complete.