UCI International Center

Optional Practical Training (OPT)

Section 1

Optional Practical Training (OPT) is work authorization available to international students who have been in valid F-1 status for at least three consecutive quarters and who plan to seek employment in the U.S. in their field of study. OPT allows F-1 student to work legally for a period of up to one year, full-time. OPT is recommended by an advisor at the International Center, but final approval is granted by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS).


  • Valid F-1 status
  • Enrollment in at least three consecutive quarters
    • NOTE: If summer is your last quarter you must be enrolled in at least six units, which is considered full-time or be approved to go part-time/filing fee in your last quarter. If you will take online classes during your last quarter, please read about Online Course requirements before applying for OPT.
  • Pursuing a Bachelors, Masters, or Ph.D. degree
  • Employment must be related directly to the major area of study

OPT Information Workshop

The International Center will offer OPT Information Workshops to assist you with questions you have about the OPT application process. You will receive an overview of a complete OPT application and will review the most frequently asked questions about OPT.  You are encouraged to bring your OPT application materials to the workshop to review with International Center staff. Arrive on time at the beginning of the workshop you plan to attend. The workshop will begin as scheduled below and last for one hour.

OPT Information Workshop Schedule


Spring/Summer 2023

Every Wednesday: 9:30am
Presentation available via Zoom participation, click here to register.