OPT After Graduation

F-1 students are allowed to apply for Optional Practical Training (OPT) for up to a year after program completion in their field of study as long as they meet the following requirements:

  • Have been enrolled for at least one academic year on a full-time basis
  • Review the Optional Practical Training Guide
  • Complete and return the Academic Program Verification Form
  • Read, sign, and date the OPT Statement of Understanding

Students may apply for OPT up to 90 days before their program end date. It is encouraged that students apply as soon as this date occurs so that there is not a delay in receiving your EAD card to begin employment after graduation.

The OPT Application Packet contains all UAMS related forms and a fact sheet that can be used to compile your packet.

Optional Practical Training (OPT) Guide

Process for submitting an OPT Application

Part One

–  Obtain your advisor’s signature on the Academic Program Verification Form

–  Complete the Form I-765 – Application for Employment Authorization. You will need to use one of the following codes when filling out #27 on the form:

  • (c) (3) (A) – Pre-completion OPT (rarely used)
  • (c) (3) (B) – Post-completion OPT

–  Complete the Form G-1145 (for paper submissions only)

–  Choose an OPT start date (send to your DSO)

–  Obtain 2 (2×2) passport-size photos in color

–  Make a copy of your passport, I-94 card and travel history, and all previous I-20s (make sure the documents are legible)

–  Read, sign, and date the UAMS OPT Statement of Understanding

Part Two

Send all items in Part One to your DSO for review and approval. Once approved, your DSO will contact you to schedule an appointment to submit your OPT Application Packet.

***Your OPT approval I-20 will be processed after all required documents in Part One (above) have been reviewed and approved.***

Part Three

Online Submissions (Recommended)

Meet with your DSO to submit your online application.  You will pay the $410 application fee online using a credit card or bank account. You will receive a confirmation email from USCIS after submission.

Paper Submissions

If you prefer to mail your application,  obtain a check or money order of $410 payable to the US Department of Homeland Security. Please send your OPT packet via Certified Mail to the address provided by the Graduate School.

Part Four

Please contact your DSO when you receive an update from USCIS on the status of your OPT application. When your OPT application is approved and you receive your EAD card, you will have 90-days to obtain employment. Remember to complete this form when you obtain employment: OPT Employment Information

Contact your DSO if you have any questions.

Thanks,

Allyson Douglass
abdouglass@uams.edu
International Student Advisor
501-686-5454