If you feel that you are eligible for OPT and would benefit from practical training in your field of study, request a recommendation from the I.S.S.S. Director. A Wilson College DSO has to recommend you for OPT in SEVIS and provide you with an updated I-20 showing the recommendation. You will submit the updated I-20 with the application for employment authorization. You do not need a job offer to apply for OPT. However, the approval time for OPT may be months, and you must pay a fee to Department of Homeland Security when applying for authorization.

What do I need for OPT?

You must supply the following items in order to apply for OPT:
  • A completed Wilson College OPT recommendation form available on the Wilson web site
  • Copies of all your I-20's
  • A completed Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, available online  
  • Photocopy of your I-94 (front and back)
  • Photocopies of EAD (front and back), if you had prior EAD(s)
  • Photocopies of passport (photo page, renewal page, amendments pages)
  • Photocopy of visa page
  • Two new passport photos with your I-94 number and your name written lightly on the back in pencil
  • $380 as a check or money order made payable to U. S. Department of Homeland Security (check this amount because it may change)

Bring your completed packet to the International Student & Scholar Services office for review. A recommendation will be made in SEVIS and a new I-20 issued. You may then mail the application packet for processing. You may not participate in OPT until you receive authorization from USCIS. Again, this process can take months!