Optional Practical Training Information Sheet
If you are planning to apply for OPT (especially if you are in your final semester) please read the ISS News email for a list of mandatory OPT Workshops or contact ISS to find out the date of the next OPT workshop. The OPT workshop will provide you with a step-by-step explanation and guide you through the application process.
- OPT is an off-campus employment benefit associated with F-1 status.
- The purpose of OPT is to allow F-1 students the opportunity to obtain full-time work authorization for 12 months in a position paid or unpaid that is directly related to a student’s major.
- For post-completion OPT, students are eligible to apply no earlier than 90 days before completing their final semester an no later than 60 days after completing their final semester.
- Complete forms in the OPT application packet and submit to ISS for review of eligibility.
- ISS processing time is 5 business days.
- USCIS processing time is up to 90 days.
- After receiving “Notice of Action,” you can use the receipt number to check the status of your application online.
- If USCIS asks you to send additional information, please bring the notice to ISS immediately.
- If your application is approved you will receive an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) card. Please contact ISS immediately if you do not receive it after 90 days.
- Make sure the information on the EAD is correct and provide ISS with a copy. If not, visit ISS.
- You may not begin working before receiving the EAD card.
- You may not begin working before the start date listed on the EAD.
- You may not continue working after the expiration date listed on the EAD.
- You are still required to report changes of address to ISS within 10 days of moving and request travel signatures when leaving the U.S.
- If an OPT application is pending, students are not advised to travel outside of the US.
- After OPT approval, students are eligible to enroll in the health insurance plan offered through The New School. It is the student’s responsibility to submit the enrollment form and payment to the insurance company before the deadline. Read ISS News for the OPT Health Insurance application deadlines or contact us for the enrollment form.
REPORTING REQUIREMENTS FOR F-1 STUDENTS ON OPT
All Students on OPT are required to report the following to International Student Services:
- Change of name or address; and
- Employment status, and any interruption of such employment.
During post-completion OPT, F-1 status is dependent upon employment. Employment during OPT must be related to the degree you have completed. Students MAY NOT accrue an aggregate of more than 90 days of unemployment during OPT.
ISS has made it easy and convenient for New School OPT students to report the necessary information online at https://newschool.dormpro.com/forms/iss_Employment.asp
- In preparation for employment in the U.S., attend Career Development Workshops such as:
- Job Search Strategies for International Students
- How To Work a Job Fair
- Strategizing Your Media and Communications Job Search
- 10 Biggest Mistakes Job Hunters Make and How to Avoid Them
- The Power of Networking
- It is important to take advantage of this resource long in advance of your Optional Practical Training benefit and before any other employment/career path opportunity you may encounter.
- To find out more about these resourceful workshops and other information, please contact the Office of Career Development at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 212.229.1324.