INTERNATIONAL AND EXCHANGE STUDENT SERVICES (IESS)

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FACULTY/STAFF > DEPARTMENTS & OFFICES > CENTER FOR GLOBAL ENGAGEMENT > INTERNATIONAL AND EXCHANGE STUDENT SERVICES (IESS) > OPTIONAL PRACTICAL TRAINING (OPT)
Optional Practical Training (OPT)

What is Optional Practical Training (OPT)?

Optional Practical Training (OPT) is an opportunity for F-1 international students to gain temporary valuable work experience in his or her field of study. This is a chance for you to learn how American businesses operate and possibly be offered further work opportunities!

When can I start?

Students must have been lawfully enrolled on a full-time basis at RMU for one full academic year before being eligible for OPT. Available both before and after completion of the educational objective, but different rules apply to pre- and post-completion OPT. Visit us in the Center for Global Engagement so we can get you started.

What do I need?

1. Recommendation from the Designated School Official (DSO) in RMU's Center for Global Engagement. Upon that recommendation, form I-765 must be completed and signed in blue ink. In item #16 on the form, indicate the appropriate code (c) (3) (B) and next to the code, write the following eligibility category – F-1 Optional Practical Training.

2. $380 Check or Money Order made payable to the “US Department of Homeland Security.”

3. 2 recent photographs according to US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) specifications (see instructions on separate sheet).

4. Original copy of current I-20, all previously issued I-20s
(These will be returned to you after necessary endorsement.).

5. I-94

6. Passport

7. Most recent visa page in the passport (if the visa page is in your old passport, please bring that passport with you).

8. Employment Authorization Document (EAD) if available/applicable.

The application will be mailed by Robert Morris University on your behalf to USCIS Vermont Service Center. All original documents will be returned to you, and you will be given copy of the application and all accompanying documents for your records.

You are advised to set up an appointment in the Center for Global Engagement as soon as you decide to pursue OPT and at least 90 days before the semester ends. You must receive the Employment Authorization Document (EAD) before starting any employment.