OPT Instructions for PMP Students

Optional Practical Training (OPT) is an opportunity for F-1 students to gain practical experience working off-campus in a job directly related to their major field of study. It is recommended in SEVIS by an Immigration Counselor at Purdue International Students and Scholars (ISS), and then students submit their applications to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to be adjudicated. An offer of employment is not required to apply for OPT.
If granted by USCIS, the authorization is full- or part-time employment for a maximum of 12 months. OPT is not a different visa status or “change of status.” OPT work authorization is a benefit linked to your F-1 status, and extends your F-1 status for the time you are on OPT. You are eligible to apply for OPT after each higher education level completed (i.e. 12 months after a Bachelor’s degree, 12 months after a Master’s degree, 12 months after a PhD).
NOTE: If you are currently a student or just graduated and are applying within your grace period, you cannot apply directly for the STEM OPT Extension: only those currently in their 12-month OPT authorization OPT period, with a qualifying STEM degree, and working for an e-verified employer may apply for the STEM extension.

To Apply for OPT, please do the following:

  1. Visit the International Students and Scholars (ISS) webpage on OPT and read all instructions on how to apply.
  2. No sooner than 90 days before graduation (~May 15 for Aug. grads, ~Sept. 15 for Dec. grads, and ~Feb. 15 for May grads) begin OPT application per the instructions listed on the aforementioned ISS webpage.
  3. List the Professional M.S. Program Administrator as the CHE Departmental Contact in your OPT application.
  4. Submit and wait for automated system notifications on you application status. Do not email the PMP administrator to inform them you have submitted your OPT application, as they will be notified automatically.

It should take approximately 2-4 weeks for your application to route through Purdue approvals before being sent to USCIS for final approval.

If you have any questions, please contact the Graduate Office at chegrad@purdue.edu.