OPT/Optional Practical Training

Optional Practical Training (OPT) is temporary employment that is directly related to your major field of study.  If you want to work off-campus as an F-1 student, one way to do so is to be approved for OPT. You cannot begin work on OPT until you receive your approval in the form of an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) and it is within the dates listed on your EAD.

The information contained on this page is for general information purposes only.  Due to frequent government updates, the University of Wisconsin-Platteville’s International Programs Office may make additions, deletions, or modifications to the contents on this page at any time without prior notice.

The directions provided here are meant to help you in completing your application but should not be considered legal advice. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services ultimately provides the decision on your OPT application. It is your responsibility, as the OPT applicant, to ensure that your OPT application is accurate and complete before you submit it to the US government.

Incomplete applications could result in a delay in processing time or denial. The International Programs Office in no event shall be held liable for any delay, denial, or mistake on your OPT application.



Learn more about items to consider when seeking employment during the OPT process, including starting your own business and working remotely.


If you do not plan to use your Post-completion OPT, traveling outside of the U.S. after graduation is not possible. If you are an F-1 student, you have 60 days to remain in the U.S. after completing your degree. This period of time is meant for you to make plans to leave the U.S. You can travel within the U.S., but if you leave and reenter, you may not return as an F-1 student. Please contact your International Programs Office advisor if you have questions.

STEM OPT Extension

F-1 students who are currently authorized for OPT employment based on completion of a Bachelor’s, Master’s or Ph.D. degree in a Science, Technology, Engineering or Math (STEM) field, as defined by DHS, may be eligible for a 24-month extension of OPT.