LAKERS TOGETHER: Grand Valley is preparing for successful learning experiences when classes resume on Aug. 31. Learn more about the plan for fall in this handbook.
OPT stands for Optional Practical Training and is a benefit of the F-1 student visa. OPT is work authorization for F-1 students after graduation. Students are eligible to apply for OPT the semester that they will graduate. OPT allows 1 year (up to 3 years for STEM) work authorization anywhere within the US after graduation but only within the student’s field of study/major.
Learn more below:
The Padnos International Center's International Student Services (ISS) hosts an OPT Processing Event biannually in September and January. The date varies based on the date of graduation each semester. Students graduating in the summer should contact ISS at the beginning of May.
Click for PDF of OPT Application Guide
STEM stands for Science Technology Engineering Mathematics. Students should check the ICE Website's STEM List to see if their major is considered as STEM and therefore are eligible for 17 month OPT STEM Extension.
Students wishing to apply for the OPT STEM Extension must complete the following information and submit it to the Padnos International Center's ISS (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Once GVSU receives this information, we will review and process your new I-20. We will send the I-20 to you. Then, you will need to complete the information for your STEM application for USCIS
Make copies of all the items above including your method of payment and mail your application packet with tracking to this address:
United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)
PO Box 21281
Phoenix, AZ 85036
You must verify your employment and submit an updated I-983 every six months while you are on the OPT STEM. You may do this by emailing: email@example.com
Department of Immigration & Citizenship Enforcement (2/19/2009)
Department of Homeland Security Announcement
US Citizenship and Immigration Services Q and A