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Washington and Lee University

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Optional Practical Training Basics (OPT)

1. The Department of Homeland Security may take up to 3 months to process your application and send you your EAD card, so you need to apply early. Post completion OPT cannot be applied for earlier than 90 days prior to the student's program end date and no earlier than 90 days prior to having been in F-1 status a full academic year.

2. For those applying for an employment authorization document for OPT prior to completion of a course of study, the effective date will usually be either the date the employment is scheduled to start employment. Those applying for an EAD for an OPT after completion of a course of study, the effective date can be no earlier than the date of completion of studies or later than 60 days after your program end date.

3. The cost this year is $380.00. Check should be made payable to US Department of Homeland Security.

4. The job needs to in a field related to your major as stated on your I-20 and is not job specific.

5. You are allowed a total of 12 months of full-time OPT employment unless you are majoring in Engineering, Mathematics, Computer Sciences or Physical Sciences, whereupon you may be eligible for up to 29 months of full-time OPT employment. You may use this any time during your course of study. For those of you completing your studies, the OPT must begin within two months after graduation and finish within 14 months of graduation.. If you go on to a higher level of post-graduate education, you will receive an allotment of an additional 12 months of OPT.

6. Please make sure you read the photo instructions carefully and print all information very clearly to reduce the chance of misspellings.

7. Applications and accompanying documents need to be handed in to the international student advisor by the end of January (law) and end of February (ugrad) , so that I can fill out my part and send them out by the first part of February. I will send them by certified mail and provide you with a complete copy of the application that I have sent. You will receive (through me) a receipt notice from DHS/ICE once they have opened your envelope and initiated processing. We will not be promoting e-filing this year.

1. (c) (3) ( A) is your eligibility code for pre-completion Optional Practical Training
2. (c ) (3) (B) is your eligibility code for post-completion Optional Practical Training
3. Use the 11 digit admission number on your most recent I-94.
4. Address should be:

Center for International Education (Ctr Intl Ed)
Washington and Lee University (W&L University)
Lexington, VA 24450