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Tips for Graduating Seniors

If you are on an internship, the work permission ends the day the professor turns in final grades. Curricular Practical Training NEVER stands alone; you must be enrolled in an internship class to receive this kind of INS work permission.

  • If you have not yet applied for Optional Practical Training, HURRY UP! The application can take as long as 90 days to process.
  • If you don't have one already, start a folder containing all of your U.S. Government records, including all of your previous I-20's, and a photocopy of all tax returns. These will be REQUIRED if you apply for an H1B visa in the future. Keep all I-20’s, even after you have graduated.
  • Remember that there is NO on-campus work permission after graduation, unless you will work on campus with a valid OPT card.
  • The INS does not require full time enrollment in the last semester. Be certain that it will indeed be your last semester before attempting to drop to part time.
  • Optional Practical Training (INS work permission after graduation) takes approximately 90 days to process. If you would like to begin working May 20, apply no later than March 20.
  • Checklist for OPT - Form I-765 for OPT
  • Under current federal regulations, F-1 visa holders on OPT are required to update SEVIS regarding their current residential address, and the name and address of their employer. This update must be done by contacting your school, even if you have graduated and are no longer taking classes. SEVIS updates are required while students are on OPT. Contact your International Students Office for further information.