Practical Training for F-1 Students

Practical training is a legal means by which F-1 students can obtain employment in areas related to their academic field of study. 

Optional Practical Training (OPT) must be authorized by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) based on a recommendation from the DSO at the school which issued the Form I-20. The term "optional" means that students can opt to use all or part of their total practical training allotment of a maximum of 12 months.

An F-1 Student with Optional Practical Training can begin working at Temple if the Individual:

1) Has a valid TU job offer

2) Has a valid EAD in hand (USCIS Approval Notice is not sufficient)

3) Will work in the field of study in which s/he will/has earned a degree (for instance, if individual has a Bachelor’s in Art and the job requires a Bachelor’s in Chemistry, the individual could not take the job as it is not in their field of study)

4) Completes an I-9 with HR within 3 days of beginning employment at TU (Direct I-9 Questions to HR)

5) Will work during the first 12 months of OPT  at Temple; may not work with  STEM OPT (additional OPT authorization for specific STEM fields)

Curricular Practical Training (CPT) may be authorized by the institution (not  by USCIS) for F-1 students participating in curricular-related employment such as cooperative education, work study, practicum and internship programs. Authorization is written on the back of the I-20 student copy and will include the name of the company, beginning and ending date, and signature of the designated school official (DSO).