Optional Practical Training (OPT)

What is OPT?

Optional Practical Training (OPT) is one type of work permission available for eligible F-1 students. It allows students to get real-world work experience related to their field of study.

  • Any work under OPT must be directly related to the student’s major.
  • OPT is not tied to degree program requirements.
  • Once used, OPT is only available again at a higher degree level. For example, if you use OPT for a master’s degree, you may get OPT again if you enroll in a doctoral degree. However, you do not get OPT again if you enroll in another master’s degree or lower level.
  • While on OPT, you will remain in F-1 status.
  • There are three types of OPT, each with its own eligibility and reporting requirements: (1) Pre-Completion OPT, (2) Post-Completion OPT, and (3) STEM OPT Extension.

Important Reminder For Those Considering Post-Completion OPT

ISS requires you to keep your UH email account active if you are going to be on OPT. You may do this by enrolling in the UH 'Ohana Online Services. If you have not graduated yet, you may pre-enroll. If you graduated but forgot to enroll, you have a 180 day grace period in which you may enroll. Read the 'Ohana Online Services policies. Once you sign up, your UH email will remain active up to one year. You will need to renew annually, and will receive alerts to do so. If you fail to sign up or renew your UH email account in time, your account will be closed and all associated emails and stored content will be wiped.