F-1 OPT Applications for May 2024 Grads

January 26, 2024

If you are an F-1 student completing your degree in May 2024, now is the time for you to start the F-1 Post-Completion OPT application process.

Applying for OPT is a two-step process. First, you must submit an OPT request to the HIO to obtain an OPT recommendation I-20. The HIO will start accepting OPT applications as of Monday, February 5, 2024. The HIO will begin emailing OPT I-20s to students as of Monday, February 26, 2024, along with instructions for the second step of the process: filing your OPT application with USCIS.

You are not required to have a job offer to apply for OPT and you are encouraged to apply for OPT as early as possible.  OPT applications may take 3-5 months to process by USCIS. Please note that you are still permitted to travel in and out of the U.S. while your OPT application is pending with USCIS until the completion date listed on your I-20.

To apply for OPT, please review this information and take the following steps: 

• You must be physically present in the U.S. in F-1 student status at the time of application;
• Review the HIO’s OPT Website in full; look under How To Apply
• Watch the HIO’s OPT Instructional Video
• Attend a virtual OPT Application Webinar or workshop hosted by your HIO advisor
• Watch the Tips on Choosing your OPT Start Date video
• Prepare the HIO OPT Date Verification Form
Electronically submit your OPT materials to the HIO by completing the HIO OPT Request Form.

You will receive via email an electronically signed OPT I-20 along with links to instructions to assist you in e-filing your final application with USCIS no earlier than Monday, February 26, 2024.